A point cloud is something that was created by someone, like a work of art. In can be copyrighted. Fair-use should be the case here, but it appears that CyArk has gone one step further to protect their rights by not allowing reproduction in any form unless through obtaining their permission for reuse. CyArk has every right to do this, not matter how distasteful it seems. From an ethical standpoint, they are behaving badly in my opinion because they have produced scientifically important data that should be shared with other researchers (once they have first published it) so that others can use the data to advance the field of study.
Edit based on a comment of clarification to the example-
"I just got word from Tom Greaves (Executive Director at CyArk) that “None of our 3D point cloud is available under Creative Commons. Only some of the 2D image data is covered by this.”
That follows pretty much what I expected. However that still leaves open the issue of Data being covered by any sort of license. The page where the data was retrieved from has a copyright “All content copyright CyArk and Partners 2010″. It is debatable if a point cloud could be copyrighted? If it is data, No way can them stop it. If it is a database, maybe? Europe has some odd laws about copyrighting databases but not their contents however the US does not. IF it is copyright than fair use kicks in and he should be fine.
To determine if a point cloud is copyright or not would actually mean going to court. Someone would have sue someone to see if it is or not. Moreover, if it is covered by copyright Dr. Isenburgh would most likely kick some a$$ on the fair
use aspect. Mainly on point four, how it hurts CyArk. Given that CyArk give out the data for free and as far as I can tell Dr. I. was not distributing the work other than as an example they would be very very hard pressed to show any sort of damage.
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I doubt this would hold up in most courts as the argument would be made that LiDAR scans are similar to pictures and we all know that pictures can be copyrighted. I think the idea of free point clouds for all, but the reality is that scans be they airborne LiDAR or MRIs can be and are copyrighted.
On Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:15:12 PM UTC-4, Doug Rocks-Macqueen wrote:I would recommend looking at this white paper on 3D scans and copyright- http://www.publicknowledge.org/Copyright-3DPrinting
"As with scans of useful objects, scans of creative objects do not create a new copyright. Unlike scans of useful objects, scans of creative objects are copies of existing works protected by copyright. That has two ramifications. The first is that anyone scanning a creative object needs the permission of the rightsholder of that object. Scanning makes a copy, and copies are exactly what copyright regulates. Even though the scanner is not creating a work eligible for copyright protection, she is still copying the creative object.
The CyArc scans are of things not under copyright (unless Tikal suddenly was put under copyright) so any point cloud of it would not have issues with copyright. I could be wrong but a brief look of all the scans appear to be of objects that are not under copyright?
They point out the case law is relatively new but scans do not have copyright, the actual object does and in the case of Dr I. none of objects in the scans in question are under copyright.
On Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:33:00 PM UTC+1, Jarlath wrote:At least in the United States the courts have routinely upheld that geospatial data, whether it be parcel boundaries or imagery, can be copyrighted. If this were not the case the business models for commercial satellite imagery companies would evaporate. These rulings have even extended to data collected by government (typically local government agencies), allowing certain organizations to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to data that were purchased with taxpayer dollars. My personal opinion is that I have no problem with commercial entities copyrighting data, given that they have taken risk in acquiring it. For taxpayer funded data I find the idea of copyrighted data counterproductive and ultimately costly for society. There are countless examples from engineering to life sciences to IT in which me
On Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:11:12 AM UTC-4, Doug Rocks-Macqueen wrote:I am going to have to respectively differ on the point that, "A point cloud is something that was created by someone, like a work of art. In can be copyrighted." First, I should say that we won't actually know until a court rules on it. Hopefully, it never gets to the point were courts would have to decide.
I would say a point cloud is data and data can not be under copyright. A point cloud is just a series of measurements from one (or more) locations to many others. That is data plain and simple and you can not copyright it. Just because someone "created it" does not mean it can be under copyright. For example, the footage of the JFK assassination was created by someone but it is not under copyright because it was ruled in a court case be a representation of facts and data. Now, what someone does with the data I believe can and should be under copyright, if someone so chooses.
Now I am not saying I agree with copyright just that as the law stands now, in certain countries, it could be said that point clouds are data and as such not under copyright. Again, I would hope that it never reaches a point were the law has to make that distinction.
On Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:06:34 PM UTC+1, Andrew Michael Mickelson (amicklsn) wrote: