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Maps and copyright law

Lawful to trace copyrighted maps?

     
2:30 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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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)

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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.