[OSM-legal-talk] To delete or not to delete, that is the question...
nick_whitelegg at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Aug 20 11:11:12 BST 2011
Had an experience yesterday which raises an interesting legal question. Around
Easter 2010, IIRC, I surveyed what appeared to be a footpath in good faith: the
footpath sign appeared to point down a gravel track across a field. Yesterday,
as part of another mapping expedition, I followed said footpath in reverse,
partly through memory and partly because again, the sign at the other end
appeared to point down it.
The track led onto a road. About a minute later, I noticed a car come out of the
field and follow me down the road; I was then given a hard time by the landowner
about trespassing etc. Partly because I was convinced that it was the footpath,
or, if it wasn't, the signposts didn't make that clear, and partly because
"chasing" someone down a road is rather OTT and petty-minded, IMO, I argued my
However on returning I looked at the Ordnance Survey map out of curiosity, and
found it wasn't the footpath - the footpath actually diverged from the track and
cut straight across a field, though the signs were very ambiguous. That said,
her reaction did seem very militant in the circumstances, which makes me believe
she's someone that could potentially kick up a fuss if said path is on OSM and
people are following it - or make walkers vulnerable to a confrontation.
This does raise a legal dilemma though. Should the path stay in OSM and risk the
possible consequences - or should the path be deleted, risking potential OS
copyright infringement (as it was the OS that confirmed that the path didn't in
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