From dog.ee.lbl.gov!tennyson.lbl.gov!twcaps Mon Oct 14 16:45:22 PDT 1991
Article 25859 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Terry Chan)
Subject: Cecil Adams on Copyright Traps in Maps (well, sort of)
Organization: FAQ U.
Keywords: Master, Ilco, abracadabra
X-Local-Date: Mon, 14 Oct 91 16:27:50 PDT
Reply-To: email@example.com (Terry Chan)
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 91 23:27:50 GMT
Summary: Traps schmaps! Sheesh!
In the October 4, 1991 edition of the Easy Bay (San Francisco) _Express_,
Cecil's column addresses a follow-up question on the issue of copyright
traps on commercial maps. A fellow writes about a fictional town named
Westdale which appeared on th 1982 edition of Rand McNally's Road Atlas
map of metropolitan Chicago (1982). It was gone in the 1986 edition.
Cecil contacted Rand McNally and they claimed that it was a mistake which
occurred when a developer submitted a plan for such a community which was
approved but never constructed. Cecil notes that it seems a little fishy
since the area was unincorporated, but was built up decades ago. On the
general subject of copyright traps, a Rand McNally spokesman said, "Why
would we put in copyright traps and then not tell anybody they were there?"
Which does seem a reasonable question.
The writer refers to an book, _How to Lie with Maps_ by Mark Monmonier
which indicates that these errors seem to crop up fairly frequently.
In it, Monmonier also notes the two prank towns in a map of Michigan
(also noted here on AFU) where a Wolverine fan put in the nonexistent
towns of "Goblu" and "Beatosu" on the section showing the neighboring
parts of Ohio.
Does anyone have access to Cecil's September 6 column on map copyright
traps? From the nature of this column, it seems to say that these traps
ObUL: Cecil has a newsfeed and is a lurker on AFU.
Terry "Well, it *could* be true...ah, you know the drill" Chan
INTERNET: firstname.lastname@example.org BITNET: email@example.com
"Reality is a concept for people who can't handle alt.folklore.urban."
From dog.ee.lbl.gov!nosc!ucsd!pacbell.com!mips!apple!amdahl!JUTS!tjc50 Thu Nov 21 13:31:52 PST 1991
Article 28353 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Terry Carroll)
Subject: Re: Map trap UL in LA Times
Date: 18 Nov 91 18:25:40 GMT
Reply-To: tjc50@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Terry Carroll)
Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA
In article <1991Nov16.email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (n liu) writes:
>"... Thomas Bros. map guides contain some fictitious streets so that the
>company can prove a copyright infringement against anyone illegally reproducing
>its work. To insure that drivers are not confused, the mythical avenues are
>generally shown on the outskirts of a neighborhood, run only a block, and are
>indicated with broken lines (as though under construction). Thomas Bros. calls
>them 'map traps.'"
> - Metro Section "Only in L.A." miscelLAny
The "map trap" thingee really shouldn't be regarded as an urban legend. It's
fact. There are strong reasons for such tactics, to prove copyright
infringement. Infringement requires two elements: 1) Copying, and 2),
Improper Appropriation. The Copying fork is usually very tough to prove
without circumstantial evidence, because there's rarely a witness to the
act of copying. Generally it can be shown by the combination of the allegedly
infringing work's similarity (called "probative similarity") to the original
work, coupled with a show of access to the original work. If the degree of
probative similarity is extremely high, the access requirement can be
discarded. The reproduction of errors or deliberately inserted false
information is very helpful in showing a conclusively high probative similarity
to assume copying. This technique has been used successfully in many
copyright infringement cases. I don't have my Copyright text handy, but if
anyone's interested, I'd be happy to look up a few cases and provide
authoritative cites so we can lay this one to rest.
The above is my thoughts, not my employer's; Terry Carroll 408/992-2152
The above is not legal advice; email@example.com (preferred)
All models over 18 years of age. tjc50@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com
From dog.ee.lbl.gov!overload.lbl.gov!agate!ames!decwrl!netcomsv!mojo Tue Dec 10 07:21:36 PST 1991
Article 29620 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: mojo@netcom.COM (Morris Jones)
Subject: the FAQ - Mapmakers copyright traps
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 91 01:10:48 GMT
Organization: Caere Corp.
"Fb.Mapmakers intentionally place copyright traps in maps."
Unfortunately I can't speak for mapmakers in general, but ....
For two years I was employed at Etak, a small company in Menlo Park
that makes navigation systems for cars and trucks and such. One of
their major products is high quality digital maps. As a result they
employed a number of people from the mapping industry and the census
bureau and such.
Etak's digital maps did in fact have copyright traps. I know of one
employee whose driveway was included in the map as "
Lane," and it was done specifically as a copyright trap.
This could well be a case of the self-fulfilling urban legend. Those I
worked with said it was a common practice in the mapping industry.
Morris "Mojo" Jones, Campbell, CA
AA4KB @ N6LDL.#NOCAL.CA.USA.NA