How is Google able to relicense their photos on Google Streetview, which may contain copyrighted content?

There's the question: It's +2/-1 and the answer is 0/-1

According to this, we allow questions on copyright. We also allow many questions on licensing.

I struggle to understand how a question that is asking if copyrighted content in a [media-item] is able to be relicensed, is being closed as off-topic.

It's been said that it should be moved to Law, due to being based on copyright, or Photography, because the media item in question is an image. How is this question seemingly off-topic?

  • 2
    In this case, because the question has nothing to do with open source: it's just straight-out copyright. That'll have to be one of the guidelines of the site: open source licensing, fine, straight copyright, not.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 17:01
  • Even licensing? The case in question may not be open source, but the scenario could.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 17:04
  • I'd agree the scenario could, but the question in question is about this specific situation, not the scenario.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


I don't think the broad topic of copyright law should be on-topic here except where it overlaps with copyleft and free/open licenses.

From the most upvoted answer in the meta post you linked:

I think, do not want to take law questions that aren't really specific to open source. General law questions should be directed to Law Beta.

The photo question you are addressing boils down to this question:

"Why can I copyright a photophraph" and that isn't about open-source at all, that is basic copyright law and suitable for the Law site.

An example of a good copyright question for this site would be along the lines of:

"Why do free software projects require/request that I assign copyright of my own contributions to them?"


This question is blatantly off-topic.

This website is Open Source Stack Exchange, not Licenses Stack Exchange or Copyright Stack Exchange. The licensing is what differs open source from proprietary projects, so questions about open source licenses are a core topic here.

But that does not mean that any license questions are on-topic here. This question has absolutely no relation to open source at all. The author is asking about the legal details about incorporating proprietary work in a proprietary product.

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