Can You Copyright Neighborhood Boundaries?
from the insanity-in-the-map-world dept
Another day, another crazy ridiculous copyright lawsuit. A mathematician who focused on creating more accurate maps that designated actual neighborhoods, rather than just zipcode-based neighborhoods, is being sued by a company called Maponics, who claim it owns the copyright on the neighborhood boundaries the mathematician created. Seriously. The mathematician, Bernt Wahl, developed some neighborhood maps for a company a few years back, and that company sold the copyrights on those maps to Maponics. But Wahl has kept creating new maps, and gives them away free to researchers. After all, they're maps. It's basically factual information, and Wahl considers his neighborhood boundary definitions to be public domain. But Maponics is basically telling Wahl he can no longer make any more maps, and only it can sell his neighborhood maps. Yet another example where copyright is clearly being used to stifle, rather than encourage, creativity.