Re: Support for quadkeys

On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM, Zeeshan Ali (Khattak)
<zeeshanak gnome org> wrote:
On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM, Jiří Techet <techet gmail com> wrote:
On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Mat <mat parad0x org> wrote:
On 09/12/13 21:59, Jiří Techet wrote:
Hello Mathieu,

the question is - is this quadkeys location encoding usable for
something else than Bing and if not, is it legal to use Bing tiles
with libchamplain? I haven't searched much but found this

which doesn't look very encouraging. Frankly if it's used only by Bing
and there are any licensing issues, I would be very hesitant to add
such a patch because people would be tempted to use it in a
not-quite-legal way. The last thing I want are some legal disputes
with Microsoft.

Thank you guys for responding so quickly.

Honestly I don't know much about the legal aspect of using Bing or
Google maps. My assumption was always that if I were to use libchamplain
to access tiles from, say, Google maps (since their tile servers use
X/Y/Z coordinates) then *I* would be the one infringing on their term of
use, not libchamplain.

Yes, I think this is the case as well. Now let's assume that using
Bing tiles this way isn't legal for some reason. Then what you are
saying is "please modify libchamplain so I can use it in an illegal

If there is no Bing support added directly to libchamplain, its all
about the app then. An app using Bing could and could not be using
Bing legally. IMO not allowing adding of some support for a generic
concept/algorithem in libchamplain in the fear that it *could* be
easily used to connect to a service in a way that the usage is
illegal, is really getting into the paranoia side of being concerned.

I have no problem if it's the *could* case, but when there's no other
use case then it's rather *will* case and I don't want to add
something which is only usable when it violates some license.

I had actually misunderstood that adding quadkeys support in
libchamplain means libchamplain directly using Bing itself. Since that
is not the case, I really don't see any legal issues here to us what
so ever.

There's no other use case for the quadkey encoding right now.
The fact that you want this to be part of libchamplain means that you
want to share your application which uses it and I'm not at all
enthusiastic about some code which uses libchamplain and violates some

You can't possibly know that. Mat's usage might or might not be legal
(he can reply to that but I think its pretty irrelevant) but this
could later be used by other apps in perfectly legal way.

But there may be no legal way to use it in libchamplain if Bing
prohibits its use in standalone (non-web) applications, see below.

So even though I don't think applying this patch would have
any legal implications for libchamplain itself, I want to discourage
its use for not-quite-legal purposes as much as possible.

Of course if we find Bing tiles can be used without any legal issues,
I'll add its support immediately.

Of course they *can* be, thats why they provide a public API and thats
why there are third-party services using Bing, including very open
source services like Mattias pointed out in his mail.

But are you sure that it can be used outside of web applications? For
instance the license says: may not, nor may you permit your customers to:


(h) Use Traffic Data other than on Internet based web pages (or WAP or
substantially similar wireless protocol based pages). Nor may you use
Traffic Data with messaging protocols such as email, SMS, MMS or other
plain text or rich text messaging.

The "traffic data" term is described as

“Traffic Data” means road traffic data contained in the Services.

but it's not clear to me if e.g. roads drawn in the map are "traffic
data" or not. And I don't know what else may be hidden in the license.

If Bing's use is web only then there's no way it could be legally used
by libchamplain. By the way this was the same case in the times when
google used to provide their tile service.


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