[OSM-legal-talk] OS map copyright expiry dates, FOI request

TimSC mapping at sheerman-chase.org.uk
Mon Sep 14 20:35:58 BST 2009


To legal-talk,

I was trying to think of a way to clarify the situation on copyright 
expiry of OS maps. One interpretation is the 50 years copyright starts 
when the map was last updated. Another is the copyright clock starts on 
the year of the copyright notice. To get an answer, what better way than 
to ask ordinance survey themselves? Under the freedom of information, I 
asked about a specific example (detailed below).

The response seems to indicate OS's view is the copyright expires 50 
after the year of the copyright notice. This is good news as it makes 
many maps available for our use. The next question that occurs is can OS 
reverse their view or is an FOI binding in some way. (Note the 
disclaimer of the email.) Any thoughts from the community on this would 
be good...

If my question or their answer was ambiguous, we can always do another 
FOI request.

Regards,

TimSC

-----Original Message-----
From: Customer Services
Sent: 14 September 2009 12:05
To: Tim Sheerman-Chase
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information. Reference: SAP 71979

Dear Mr Sheerman-Chase

Ordnance Survey reference: 71979

Thank you for your email dated 30 August 2009 requesting: "I have a
sheet that has the following markings: "Made and published by the
Director General of the OS, Chessington, Surrey 1960 Reprinted with
minor changes 1965 Crown copyright (C) 1960""

"Which date is used to calculate when the copyright will lapse? Would
this either be either 1st Jan 2011 or 1st Jan 2016 or another date?"

We are pleased to provide you with the following information with regard
to your request:
The Crown copyright subsisting in a hard copy printed OS map will
subsist from the end of the calendar year in which it was published
until the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar
year in which it was published, meaning 1 January 2011.

Please note that your enquiry has been processed to Freedom of
Information guidelines.  As all requested information has been provided,
we have determined that in all the circumstances of this case the Public
interest consideration (section 17 FOIA) is not applicable in this
instance.

If you are unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal to our
Appeals Officer at:

Complaints Team
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road
SOUTHAMPTON
SO16 4GU  

Please include the reference number above. The Appeals Officer will
ensure that the process has been followed correctly, questioning any
decisions taken regarding the original response and recommending
disclosure of additional information if appropriate.

Thank you for your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Tony Gray

Freedom of Information Pracitioner
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road, SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, SO16 4GU
Phone: +44 (0) 8456 050505 | Fax: +44 (0) 23 8079 2615
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk  | customerservices at ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this
email.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Sheerman-Chase [mailto:**********************]
Sent: 30 August 2009 19:10
To: Customer Services
Subject: Freedom of Information. Reference: SAP 71979

FOI Enquiries,

I have a question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 regarding
the crown copyright of OS map sheets. I have a sheet that has the
following markings:

"Made and published by the Director General of the OS, Chessington,
Surrey 1960
Reprinted with minor changes 1965

Crown copyright (C) 1960"

Which date is used to calculate when the copyright will lapse? Would
this either be either 1st Jan 2011 or 1st Jan 2016 or another date?

Thanks,

Tim Sheerman-Chase
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