Legal issues when using ArcGIS Online image layers #104

Open
joostschouppe opened this Issue Nov 18, 2015 · 31 comments

Projects

None yet

10 participants

@joostschouppe

Esri suggests using their "Online image layers" for tracing data for upload to OSM:

"If you want to contribute to OpenStreetMap (OSM), an open and freely available database of geographic data, you can use ArcGIS Online image layers with the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap" source

Is this in fact legal? And if so, can I find some sort of official confirmation of this?

This question was raised at the Openstreetmap Help site. Here's the document that allows using Bing Imagery for OSM tracing.

Excuse me if this is off topic - but to me, it sounded like something that would be of interest for your wiki pages.

@eggwhites
Member

Hello joostschouppe - good question, and I can see how this might be confusing. To clarify - the article states that you can use 'ArcGIS Online Imagery' - i.e., of the provided ArcGIS Online basemaps available, you can choose the 'Imagery' basemap option. This ArcGIS Online imagery is provided through the Esri Community Maps program (http://doc.arcgis.com/en/community-maps), and contributors understand that contributions can be accessed by the public through ArcGIS for a variety of workflows - one may be digitizing features.

This is not the same as Bing Imagery - ArcGIS no longer provides Bing imagery as one of its public basemap options.

@simonpoole

@eggwhites Sorry to be stickler about this, but can you point to ToS or similar that participants in the community maps program have to agree to if ESRI themselves cannot make a statement as to the status of data digitized from the available imagery?

The question has actually turned up in a further different context: from a participant in the program that is unsure about the T&Cs and if it is a suitable way to provide imagery to the OSM community and I've been unable to find any document that is really clear on the matter.

@joostschouppe

After some searching I found a screenshot of part of the license agreement data providers sign. I also found this. Read point 5: "all derivative work is owned by Esri".

EDIT: I didn't read the document properly. Point 5 is non problematic, as @mboeringa points out below.

@simonpoole

@joostschouppe the good news is that point 4. actually assigns enough rights to ESRI that they could legally allow tracing by us.

@mboeringa

Read point 5: "all derivative work is owned by Esri".

This is a partial and inaccurate quote @joostschouppe, and thus makes it more confusing. It actually reads:

_5. Derivative Works.
Any derivative works (as defined under 17 USC sec.101), resultant data, or other information _that
Esri creates
based on Data will be owned by Esri, provided that Contributor retains ownership over any portions of Data that remain separately identifiable in such works.

Note the bold text I highlighted. Clearly, the "owned by ESRI" only refers to derivative works and resultant data _that ESRI creates themselves_. The OSM community is not ESRI, so ESRI shouldn't own the derivative or resultant data created by OSM users.

In addition, since digitization of imagery and thus creating vector data, does not create _new imagery_, but instead entirely new data that could not realistically been seen as "portions of Data that remain separately identifiable in such works" over which a "Contributor retains ownership", I think OSM users should be fine digitizing the imagery...

@simonpoole

@mboeringa that would actually make the imagery unusable since we would have to go back to every individual source and ask them for permission.

As it stands I'm assuming that the imagery layer composed of mulitple different sources is actually a deriviative and that ESRIs own the rights in it (as granted in 4.).

@mboeringa

@mboeringa would actually make the imagery unusable since we would have to go back to every individual source and ask them for permission.

Have you actually read what I wrote?

As it stands I'm assuming that the imagerylayer composed of mulitple different sources is actually a deriviative and that ESRIs own the rights in it (as granted in 4.).

Yes, this is how I interpret it too.

@ajturner
Member

I'll work with @eggwhites to look into the questions and report back to this issue.

@simonpoole

@mboeringa yes. ESRI producing a statement that it
a) allows tracing from the imagery
b) waives all rights to the derived data
is the best situation for us.

What is confusing you likely is that the T&Cs are an agreement between the contributors to the community maps and ESRI. NOT between ESRI and OSM, the only thing interesting for us is that ESRI does actually has the relevant rights so that it can enter in to such an agreement with us.

@mboeringa

I'll work with @eggwhites to look into the questions and report back to this issue.

@joostschouppe and @simonpoole, best to wait for this answer.

@simonpoole

I did some digging in my mail archives and found some stuff from 2013 where permission was supposed to announced. If that did happen it clearly wasn't on any high profile OSM site/list/... If anybody is interested I can provide the name etc.

@eggwhites
Member

Hello All - we at Esri are working internally to provide a full answer here. Please give us some time to get that to you. I know its important to have an answer soon. Please stay tuned.

@eggwhites
Member

An update: I've learned there was much research put into this question in the past, and don't believe there should be problems with a digitizing workflow. However, we haven't published clear guidance that answers these questions you've provided - and we agree it is important to do so. So we are working on documentation and will update this thread so you all have it. To set expectations, it likely won't be available until after the Thanksgiving holiday, as different staff in our process are travelling.

@mboeringa

Don't forget this link to an ArcUser article @joostschouppe pointed out, that is actually highly relevant here:

Use ArcGIS Online Imagery to Digitize, Analyze, Contribute
http://www.esri.com/esri-news/arcuser/fall-2014/use-arcgis-online-imagery-to-digitize-analyze-contribute

@willemarcel

Hi @eggwhites and @mboeringa

Furthermore the questions about the imagery ownership, it's necessary to clarify the information on that page http://downloads2.esri.com/ArcGISOnline/docs/tou_summary.pdf

It says that we need:

  • Provide attribution to Esri and its data providers.
  • Use with Esri software, and comply with its terms of use. If you do not have Esri software, you must purchase an ArcGIS Online subscription.
@wadnams
wadnams commented Jan 13, 2016

Hi @eggwhites

Is there an update on when we can expect the documentation?

Thanks.

@eggwhites
Member

Thanks for following up here - yes, we are working on this right now. We will update this thread as soon as we have documentation or more official guidance to share.

@marcioaguiar

Still waiting. ๐Ÿ˜„ It would be a great contribution if ESRI released images for tracing.

@mboeringa

@eggwhites , it's been half a year since the last update, any news?

@mproctor1984

Has there been a definitive answer to the discussion posted above? Specifically, I was wondering if ESRI ArcGIS Desktop and the associated imagery can be used to digitize from scratch and create vector data and create a shapefile or geodatabase feature class and then submit this to OpenStreetMap or other Open Source data storage. The article http://www.esri.com/esri-news/arcuser/fall-2014/use-arcgis-online-imagery-to-digitize-analyze-contribute would suggest that it is OK, but I can not definitively conclude that this is indeed the case. This question has been open for about 11 months. Thank you in advance.

@mproctor1984

@eggwhites and @mboeringa, is this still an active thread and/or has any resolution been found?

@cloveman
Collaborator
cloveman commented Oct 13, 2016 edited

We are reviewing the details and hope to have a response soon, sorry for the delay.

@mproctor1984

@cloveman Thank you for taking this issue on. If you could leave a message periodically (maybe every week or so) such that I and others on this thread can stay connected to the progress on the issue.

@mproctor1984

@eggwhites , @mboeringa , @cloveman It has been 3 weeks in addition to the 11 months prior in regards to this issue. An update would be appreciated even if final resolution has not been given. OK Thanks.

@mproctor1984

@eggwhites , @mboeringa , @cloveman It has been 5 weeks in addition to the 11 months prior in regards to this issue. An update would be appreciated even if final resolution has not been given. OK Thanks.

@mboeringa
mboeringa commented Nov 28, 2016 edited

@mproctor1984

To clear up a mis-understanding: I am just a user of this toolbox like you, and don't work for ESRI, so can't answer this question. I just posted here based on what I read.

The reason I have been very active in other threads as well in this repository, is because I developed a tool that depends on some of the tools of the Editor, and the welfare of this toolbox is thus important to me.

@mproctor1984
@wadnams
wadnams commented Dec 5, 2016

Hello @eggwhites and @cloveman. It is over a year since this issue was raised and is limiting our efforts on verifying and capturing data for use within OSM. Please could we have an update and status of the query. My use of ArcGIS support got me nowhere given the specialised nature of this query, so am relying on the thread for a definitive yes/no answer. Thank you.

@cloveman
Collaborator
cloveman commented Dec 5, 2016

@wadnams I apologize it's taken this long. Esri's World Imagery base map has a large list of contributors that fall generally into the categories of commercial or community. Our legal team is actively reviewing each contributors agreement to ensure we don't communicate incorrect information that violates these agreements.

As of this week, they are focused on identifying any prohibitions/restrictions in the license agreements from our commercial providers that prevents tracing vectors over the top of the imagery. And then, contributing those vectors to an organization like OSM who uses a license like the ODbL. Due to the scope of this work, it has taken much longer then expected, your patience with us is appreciated.

@wadnams
wadnams commented Dec 8, 2016

@cloveman, appreciate the update. Thanks.

@mproctor1984

@eggwhites ,@cloveman, at this point I would say that this discussion (thread) is no longer active. It has been two more months or it has been a year and two months since this issue was first raised. Still no response and still no update. Very frustrating.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment