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Maps and copyright law

Lawful to trace copyrighted maps?



2:30 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is it a violation of U.S. law or the Berne Convention to save a copyrighted map from a web site as a "template"* for a graphic indicating major routes for a directions page on a business web site?

* An Adobe Illustrator "template" lets a user trace over the original, underlying image.


4:07 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It likely depends on the very particular facts of each case.

The first assumption to make is that your action is not legal if the work is copyrighted.

That fact - the existence of rights of others - should lead to your first action: Ask the rights holder "May I do this?".

Don't ask everyone else and not the rights holder.


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