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Copyright F.A.Q.s

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Copyright F.A.Q.s(Frequently Asked Questions)


What does copyright mean?

The United States copyright law provides protection to authors of original works. This includes maps. It is unlawful for any firm or individual to reproduce copyrighted works, in whole or in part, without permission of the copyright owner.
How do I know if a map is protected by copyright? All commercially produced maps are covered by the copyright law. The name of copyright holder and the word "copyright" or symbol "(c)" is often printed somewhere on the map. However, even if unauthorized copies (without copyright identification) are subsequently reproduced, copyright laws and penalties still apply.
Does the copyright law apply for every use? Yes, neither a business nor an individual may reproduce copyrighted maps, in any quantity, without permission of the copyright owner. Even a single copy may be considered a copyright violation when the intended use is commercial, whether for profit or not. Specific exemptions have been made for "fair use" reproductions according to Section 107 of the copyright law.
What are the penalties for violating a copyright? The penalties allowed by law in copyright violations can be severe, and may include payment of any profits, damages, court costs and attorney fees.
Are all maps protected by copyright? The United States copyright law provides protection to authors of original works. This includes maps. It is unlawful for any firm or individual to reproduce copyrighted works, in whole or in part, without permission of the copyright owner. U.S. government publications are an exception.
How may I legally reproduce copyrighted maps? You should request permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce a copyrighted map. Permission is usually granted by a written contract which specifies quantity, royalty fees, and various terms pertinent to the use of the map being reproduced.
I'm a printer or copy shop. If I reproduce copyrighted maps for a customer, who is liable? You are both liable. The customer and the firm or individual who reproduces copyrighted materials without authorization can be held liable for copyright violations.
Are royalty fees expensive? Generally not. Such fees are usually based on quantities reproduced, area of map coverage, and detail of the particular map being used. In fact, such fees are quite low considering the skill, time and effort required to produce detailed maps.
Once a copyright contract is granted, how long is it effective? A copyright contract gives permission for a specific use and quantity over a particular time. The contract expires when the limited quantity is reached or on the expiration date indicated. Additional reprints will require renewed permission.
Does all this apply just to printed maps? No. Maps viewed, accessed or printed using software are equally protected. Copyright law protects the selection and arrangement of facts. This means the compilation of information in a map and the graphic representation are protected, whether the source is paper or digital.
Who do I contact to obtain permission to reproduce a map? Wide World of Maps, Inc. representatives can provide information relative to requesting reprint permission for our copyrighted maps. And, our creative facilities can assist you in preparing materials tailored to your specific business or personal needs. We have our own production facility to create special printed maps, brochures, and atlases.
Where can I get a custom map? (Cartographic Services) Often, businesses, government agencies and individuals can use large scale maps of specific areas for planning, studies, or display. We can enlarge or reduce, all or part, of any maps that we publish to a size that meets your requirements. You can choose your own size or scale, or we will assist by showing you samples of predetermined scales.

We will also be happy to discuss and assist you in any other special cartographic needs, ranging from enhancing existing map products to make them more useful, to designing, drafting and publishing thousands of maps.

Maps are useful tools for everyone. They can be used to make complex boundaries more clearly understood. They are also popular advertising premiums, because they are retained and referred to often by your customers and prospects.

Email Cartography or call (602) 433-0616