Theory and practice of geographic map legal protection as objects of copyright

in the Russian Federation

Dr. Raisa Yakovleva

Department Deputy Chief, Federal Agency of Geodesy and Cartography (Russia)


Geographic maps and atlases, including digital maps, as well as spatial data base are protected as the intellectual property objects according to the Law of the Russian Federation About copyright and related rights. From January, 1, 2008 the forth part of the Civil Code will come into effect. It is devoted to the rights on intellectual activity results. According to the federal law About Geodesy and Cartography exclusive rights on geographic maps and other cartographic products of the state cartographic-geodetic fund belong to the Russian Federation. The Federal Agency of Geodesy and Cartography has developed methodical recommendations on the legal protection of exclusive rights on cartographical products at its enterprises. However the application of the current legislation in the field of copyright to cartographic products is insufficiently detailed from the methodological point of view. With this purpose the Russian and international legislation in the field of intellectual property has been analyzed, as well as creative processes in producing various cartographical products: the primary maps, derivative maps, relief maps, multi-sheet maps, atlases, electronic maps. As a result the operating legislative norms, which are applied for maps and atlases considered by the author as primary products, derivative products, compound products, databases are classified. Legal aspects of cartographic products allocation in the Internet are stated. Court practice on the base of twenty cases and argumentative base applied by courts are considered.