In their opening statement on Monday, SLA said their civil suit centres on whether Virtual Map has used the base materials given by the government agency and made alterations to them. The case isn't about the "usual form of infringement" where one party copies a portion of the work without significant alteration, in which the only issue is whether or not the part taken is substantial.I have no sympathy for Virtual Map. In fact, when I first read the news early this morning, I broke out with laughter. This is a company that has been making money all these years by threatening so many people who had used its street maps. I'm so glad that it is getting a taste of its own medicine now.
Yesterday, three more SLA staff members took the stand.
To Virtual Map's claim that the digitised data it received from the SLA was "raw" and bore "no substantial similarity" to their product, SLA charged that there was substantial reproduction on the part of Virtual Map.
As an ex-licensee of SLA who had access to SLA's work, it had "copied SLA's 'skeleton'", the result of "hard work, skill, labour and money invested by the Government".
SLA highlighted the "numerous tell-tale signs, errors and fingerprints" in Virtual Map's work. The firm has "neither the skill to create a map ab initio (from scratch) nor the facilities to map building shapes with any precision other than copy what has already been done", said SLA's expert witness, British map-maker expert, land surveyor and law lecturer Carl Calvert.
Btw, I strongly believe that all street maps should be in the public domain and no one should be paying any amount at all to use them in their websites or flyers.