[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] OS OpenSpace

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Dec 13 12:04:06 GMT 2007

Ben Ward wrote:

> 4.4 In the event that you or any User creates Derived Data, such Derived
> Data shall be owned by us, save that if any Derived Data is created which is
> a severable improvement (as defined by Commission Regulation (EC) No
> 772/2004, known as the Technology Transfer Block Exemption) of the Ordnance
> Survey Data then such Derived Data shall be owned by the person or entity
> creating the same.

...and said EC regulation is at

Which is kind of interesting. My reading of "a severable improvement"  
in this context is that this might provide the legal force for  
something that a few of us have long thought has to be the case. I'll  

If you go to the Sustrans webmapping (www.sustrans.org.uk), they plot  
their cycle routes on an OS map.

Route 54, let's say, goes (inter alia) from Burton to Derby. So  
Sustrans have traced a wiggly line along the OS map on the relevant  
roads and paths. They've then fed this into their GIS as a polyline,  
which the GIS superimposes on OS raster data.

This, to me, looks like "derived data" but also, partly, a "severable  
improvement". The wiggly line is clearly derived data. But the fact  
that Route 54 goes on a path to the A38, then on minor roads to  
Egginton and Etwall, then up a railway path, is "severable" from the  
wiggliness of the line.

In practice, then, I read that to mean that if you use the Sustrans  
webmapping to find out where the routes go, this information is solely  
copyright Sustrans (who might be more willing to give permission) and  
not OS, even though it's delivered through the medium of a derived  
work. So, if you had the wiggly lines already (whether mapped by GPS  
or NPE), you could tag them as NCN routes if Sustrans were ok with that.

(This is clearly the Right Thing too, but it's never safe to assume  
that the law automatically follows that. :( )

Suggest follow-ups to legal-talk alone.


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