Google Defeats Copyright Lawsuit Over Waze Data (Forbes Cross-Post)

2 01 2017

The basic copyright rule is clear: facts are not copyrightable; factual compilations can be. However, this simple rule masks considerable nuance. What is a “fact,” how does it differ from “non-facts,” what does it mean to “compile” facts, and when is a compilation sufficiently original to become copyrightable? These questions are more epistemological than legal, so not surprisingly, the associated legal disputes routinely baffle judges. As a result, the copyright caselaw regarding facts and compilations is confused–and confusing.

These issues surfaced again in a recent case where Google defeated a copyright challenge over data used in its Waze navigation application (Google bought Waze in 2013).


Case citation: PhantomALERT, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 3:15-cv-03986-JCS (N.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2015)

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