On Tue, 1 Mar 2005 19:34:20 +0100 (MET), Roberto wrote in message 
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

> > > I also noticed that those POI files are generally distributed free
> > > with very relaxed licenses.
> > 
> > But this is the crux of the biscuit.  What, specifically, is the
> > license?  "Very relaxed" isn't detailed enough to say whether it's
> > compatible with the GPL, and thus can/cannot be distributed with
> > FlightGear.  It's likely that the POI files themselves cannot be
> > distributed with FG.
> 
> Well, I've already found some POI files which are distributed with the
> only limitation being not to distribute them without stating where I
> took them from. Is this compatible enough to GNU-GPL?   :-)

..the specific wording would be helpful, legalese _is_ a mine field.

> > *HOWEVER*, it's generally the case that copyright law indicates that
> > one can copyright the presentation of a set of facts, but cannot
> > copyright the facts themselves.  Thus, you're violating Encyclopedia
> > Britannica's copyright if you  photocopy and distribute one of their
> > volumes; but you aren't violating their copyright if you write your
> > own volume in your own words that nonetheless contains all the
> > information/facts contained in that Encyclopedia Britannica volume. 
> > So while it may not be possible to distribute the files, it may be
> > possible to distribute the information within the files.
> 
> Good point, the problem arises when a license requires the user not to
> use the informations distributed/obtained/produced with/thanks to the
> copyrighted files for any other purpose then the ones specified by the
> license (which could be a software, a piece of hardware or whatever).

..see what I mean by mine field?  ;o)

..the information, by itself, _may_ be patentable, and it may even be
restricted under contract law as "trade secret" by Non Disclosure
Agreements.

..the specific expression (of the information), by itself, is _not_ 
patentable, it _is_ copyrighted (if it can be), until it falls into the
public domain as the author's copyright expires or is put into the
public domain  by the author.

..copyrighted expressions cannot be distributed at all, under copyright
law, unless the author specificly allows this.  He may do so with common
sales contracts, "open source licenses", weird ass slave contracts
called "End User License Agreement", or, he can license it under the
GPL.  

..so, if you're _really_ gonna spoil your time etc on this planet to
prove my point, you're invited to sing the full text of Linus Torvald's 
Linux kernel source code, Live on Fox, in your own expressive opera 
aria song style, and pay me royalty for the use of my patent pending
idea to reduce national health expenditures from excessive US TV
watching.  ;o)

> Interesting point; I think we have a lot of "Encyclopedia Britannica"
> like information sources around; I think noone can copyright "the
> WGS84 UTM coordinates of a Museum" in my city, right? Or am I missing
> something in the "copyright world" scenario :-)

..some; it _depends_: the actual coordinates, correct as in "No." 
The graphical expression can be painted in oil on a canvas and
copyrighted as an early Inzerillo if you do it now, or it can be used
and registred as a trademark for Inzerillo cigars made from your
early paintings. ;o)

-- 
..med vennlig hilsen = with Kind Regards from Arnt... ;o)
...with a number of polar bear hunters in his ancestry...
  Scenarios always come in sets of three: 
  best case, worst case, and just in case.


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