Seattle

Law and the GeoWeb, a workshop on IP and geographic data in the internet era sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey

Jane Park, November 19th, 2010

Just Landed
Just Landed by Jer Thorp / CC BY

Law and the GeoWeb
A workshop on “Intellectual Property and Geographic Data in the Internet Era” sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in conjunction with the annual meeting of AAG, April 11, 2011, Seattle, Washington. The workshop will be held at the campus of Microsoft Research, and will be streamed live on the Internet.

This workshop will focus on intellectual property issues with geographic data, exploring situations when users and creators ranging from individuals to local, state and federal agencies as well as private companies and non-profits create, share and reuse geographic information from different sources over the Internet in their projects.

For more information, please see http://punkish.org/geoweb/index.html or search on Twitter for #lawandgeoweb

Rationale
U.S Copyright Law protects tangible original works with creative content but the law also ensures that facts, that is, data that are discovered rather than invented, remain free for everyone’s benefit. This ideas/expression dichotomy creates a lot of issues in the Internet age when information is very easily created, shared, used and reused.

With inexpensive computing and networking power available to everyone, geographic datasets are increasingly being created, shared and used by individuals, grassroots organizations, and private corporations. These data come with different expectations with regards to how they may be used resulting in a hodgepodge of licensing and contractual obligations that hinders data interoperability. Mixing data of different provenance creates new data with typically more restrictive licensing conditions. Public agencies may be unable to mix licensed data with government data due to restrictive licensing terms of the resultant dataset, and thus, may be unable to capitalize on and benefit from user-generated content.

Workshop Structure
The current line-up of speakers from federal, state and local agencies, Creative Commons, grassroots agencies, intellectual property lawyers, the geospatial industry, and research and academia includes:

  • Ed Arabas, National States Geographic Information Council
  • Greg Babinski, King County, State of Washington
  • Michael Brick, Microsoft Legal, Bing Maps
  • Steve Coast, Founder, OpenStreetMap
  • Kari Craun, Director, National Geospatial Technical Operations, USGS
  • Ed Parsons, Chief Technologist, Google Maps, Google
  • Diane Peters, General Counsel, Creative Commons
  • Tim Trainor, Bureau Chief, Geography Division, US Census Bureau
  • Paul Uhlir, Director, Board for Research Data and Information, NRC

The format of the workshop will encourage discussion and participation.

Participate
To ensure those directly involved in the topic get a chance to attend the workshop, attendance is based on a short application form accessible at http://punkish.org/geoweb/participate/in_person/index.html. Deadline for applying for the workshop is December 18, 2010. Selected applicants will be informed by January 15, 2011.

Attendees will also be able to submit longer papers for publication in a special issue of the peer-reviewed, completely free and open access online journal “International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research” published by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Logistics
The workshop is organized in conjunction with the AAG annual meeting. The workshop will be held on the campus of Microsoft Research, and run from 1 PM to 5 PM on Monday, April 11, 2011.

There is no fee for this workshop but registration for the AAG annual meeting is required (note: this is an AAG requirement). The workshop is limited to 50 participants to facilitate discussion.

Proceedings of the workshop and selected longer papers will be published in a special issue of the open-access International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research published by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Contact
Please contact either Puneet Kishor, Creative Commons [punkish@creativecommons.org] or Barbare Poore, USGS [bspoore@usgs.gov] if you have any questions.

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