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I'm now planning a casual car racing game that want to model some real cities sight into it. I doubt if there is copyright of the landscape or city planning of those real cities in the world. Can I model such as existing city or I can't?

Thanks a lot.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can use OpenStreetMap.org - their license is clear and suitable:

You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt our maps and data, as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors.

osm2xp is for example using this data for the X-Plane game:

enter image description here

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Thanks Will, OpenStreetMap.org is a nice source to get the city data to create racing track. –  Makzan Apr 22 '11 at 4:06

It depends on the level of detail you go into and how you generate your data. From Will's post, deriving your layout from OSM does seem to be a way of doing this to an extent, however if you derive anything from any other source you'll need to carefully check their licences very carefully.

There may be certain buildings or objects in real cities or locations that would require a specific licence to use (from past experience we've had to remove the odd distinct building that either didn't want to appear or had a ridiculously high licence fee), if you planned to try and actually use the real shops or corporate logo's of buildings you'd potentially have to obtain a licence for each one individually (this may vary depending on the country you're recreating).

As an example, take the Hollywood sign, if you wanted to put that in a game you'd need to specifically obtain a licence for it here.

As with all things legal, if in doubt, ask a lawyer who has some experience in this area.

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Thanks Roger very much for the detail explanation. This info really helps me on making the city in game with those copyright issues in mind. –  Makzan Apr 22 '11 at 4:04

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