[Talk-GB] Definitive Public Right Of Way map for Northumberland

Robert Whittaker (OSM) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 15:03:49 BST 2011

On 21 April 2011 13:50, TimSC <mapping at sheerman-chase.org.uk> wrote:
> Contrary to Robert's view, I don't think FOI can be used to get the
> information directly, as the FOI response is still copyright.

I never said FOI will get you data that you're automatically free to
re-use, only that it may be a way to obtain a copy of the definitive
statement. (They could still refuse an FOI request on the grounds that
the information is already "reasonably accessible" since you can
inspect it in person at the council offices.)

What FOI definitely doesn't do is give you automatic permission to
re-use the information. At least with the Definitive Statement, we
know OS don't claim any IP, so it's just down to getting permission
from the council. (The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations
probably have something helpful to say here, but I've never looked at
them in detail, and I think they allow for charges to be imposed for

The councils I've approached for permission to make use of Definitive
Statements generally didn't seem to understand the desire to re-use
the information, as opposed to wanting to produce facsimile copies,
and hence they've initially been rather confused by my request. One
sent me their standard set of changes for reproduction, which were
broken down by usage and numbers of copies! Others were more worried
that OSM might be seen as an official source of information and were
wanting an explicit disclaimer added.

The existence of the Open Government License [1] might make things
easier, as you could ask for permission to use the information under
this. However, while that license says it's ODbL compatible, it may
not be compatible with the new OSM Contributor Terms, so be careful.
Previously I've resorted to having to explain what OSM is, what I want
to add (path statuses and reference numbers) and how we need to make
sure there aren't any IP claims on the information so we can give the
maps away for free. (So essentially asking for a PD license for the
information, in a way that hopefully they'll understand.)


[1] http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/

Robert Whittaker

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