I checked the french law by curiosity, and you don't even have to do anything to make it copyrighted
as long as it is your creation, people are not legally allowed to use it (in France at least)
the thing is you can't prove you are the one who did it :?:
EDIT : pretty much what Falconius said hahaha sorry (but it gives me 1 more post yeay!)
As far as proof goes... that's actually become less complicated, with digital works.
The map you found on google, for example, was posted on a certain day/time to these forums. The person who posted them can prove the account is his, the time stamp in the forums proves he had completed the map on a certain date and time, and it would be up to anyone else to prove they'd completed it *prior* to that. (Which they couldn't, since they didn't...)
I've also seen (very rarely, in very expensive/high profile cases) dating done on inks, papers, and canvases to prove if one artwork/manuscript/whatever was created before another.
There was even a case when a man proved his ownership of an invention by showing a preliminary sketch in one of his old diaries/journals.
Posting online just makes it easier, because *everything* is stamped with a time/date, even if you can't see it :)
And the easiest (imho) way to prove something was created, for example, by me, and not by you, is that I could probably recreate it (or something very similar) while you could not :)
Just like I could not recreate one of Max or GP's masterpieces (and yes, darn you all, I've tried D: )
For reference purposes, the law is similar in all of the nations that are signatories to the Berne Convention, which is the international treaty that governs intellectual property protection. Treaties and Contracting Parties: Berne Convention
Traités et parties contractantes: Convention de Berne (Same thing but in French)
Most nations' laws are somewhat stricter than the treaty itself, but it does at least establish a minimum baseline that states that all artistic works are protected from the moment of their creation without necessity of registration or any other notification of copyright status.
The bottom line of all of that is that you should always assume that a work is protected unless the original author has specifically said that it is not.
As for proving original authorship, in many cases it's fairly easy because the artist usually has the original Gimp or Photoshop file.
if I get the creator's approval, would someone be interested by my request?
Probably at least a few people would be willing to help, but I don't think you'll find anyone here even willing to nibble until they're sure it's okay to go ahead with the project.
There are so many sure things in the world. :)
I suggest 1) Taking down the map for a start? 2) Finding/Contacting the creator, and 3) Getting permission to use it. You never know, maybe the original mapmaker would even be interested in your project, but you can't know until you talk to them.
Once you've done that, if you have permission to use it, I'd create a new thread saying what rights you have to the map and/or can bestow on the mapmaker (probably not much if any) and any other details of your request.
THEN you will get offers - when everyone is sure everything is above ground, yes? :)
I am the original creator of the map in question.
To cut a long story short:
1) The map is part of a worldbuilding exercise for my own writing and represents a single continent of a world with about 5 or 6 more... I have been busy with other things - hence no further updates and I do not feel comfortable including all the details (places/names etc) and my original intention was to get design and style feedback - purely aesthetically.
2) I have had requests before regarding "using" the map and I have been in two minds but I have realised that I am likely to rework this map many more times for my writing so its no longer that "private"
3) Cebdos has permission to use this for a non-commercial private purpose. I.e. if he wants to use the map for an age of empires map or similar then he can go ahead
4) Cebdos may not pass the original map off as his own and may not publish it publicly without a note to where he got it. Obviously under no circumstances can it be used and printed in a book....
5) I have no interest in helping do the final names etc but anyone else is welcome to help Cebdos.
thank you very much!
Just as a side note: above and beyond everything else that's been said, the brushes used on vapourfire's map were created by StarRaven http://www.cartographersguild.com/ma...c-circles.html, so not only would one have to obtain permission to use vapourfire's map, but also determine if it was okay to use a map that uses yet another person's intellectual property.