[Talk-GB] OS OpenData Licence update (WAS: Finding Unmapped public rights of way)

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Tue Jul 30 15:18:25 UTC 2013

And it has been suggested I give a succinct summary of my own verbosity:

LWG view on use of data in OSM under OS OpenData License:

Yes: OS OpenData product except CodePoint

No:  CodePoint (a Royal Mail response to Chris Hill needs further 

You need to formally ask:  Any other dataset published under the OS 
OpenData License by other organisations, such as English Heritage, (or 
by OS if any).


On 30/07/2013 15:58, Michael Collinson wrote:
> On 30/07/2013 11:49, osm at k3v.eu wrote:
>> Robert,
>> On Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:57:13 +0100, "Robert Whittaker (OSM lists)"
>> <robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> OSM takes a conservative line on copyright and licensing issues...
>> I agree with Rob 100% on this, it is pretty obvious that the Government
>> intends for this data to be freely usable by businesses and projects
>> like OSM. This has been covered to death a number of times in the past.
>> There is a lot of external data in OSM that requires attribution. The 
>> way
>> the project handles that seems to work pretty well regardless of what
>> the amateur lawyers may say.
>> It is very hard to imagine the circumstances where OSM would face any
>> issues from using these datasets and if that were to occur then the
>> data can be removed as has happened when other data sources have been
>> challenged in the past.
>> If you don't want to use this data in OSM then don't use it but you are
>> not the arbiter deciding what others may do.
> I would add to this that as Robert W is quite right that "OSM takes a 
> conservative line on copyright and licensing issues", the Licensing 
> Working Group formally made the Ordnance Survey aware of our (then) 
> intended use under ODbL and explicitly pointed out where there where 
> potential incompatibilities.  The upshot was that the OS kindly made a 
> formal declaration that they had no objections to such use for all 
> OpenData product where they have complete IP control, i.e. everything 
> except CodePoint data. Since that time, the OpenStreetMap Foundation, 
> as formal publishers of the database, have had no communication from 
> the OS rescinding that for future releases of OpenData. In other 
> words, if the Man Says Yes, then the Man Says Yes.
> Now, the potential incompatibility with the OS OpenData License per se 
> has never been removed. This means that there are problems for the OSM 
> community and the general public in these *other* areas:
> - Use of OS OpenData other than that described above, i.e. CodePoint. 
> [I personally feel that the real problem all along is the Royal Mail 
> and their apparent decision to hijack post code and address databases 
> paid for with public resources into the private sector. Chris Hill has 
> been working here but the LWG informally feels that the response he 
> got is deliberately vague and obfuscatory.]
> - Confusing use of the OS OpenData License instead of the Open 
> Government License on other datasets. As I recall that is datasets 
> from English Heritage.
> A number of individuals have been working on these and other issues, 
> at least Robert Whitaker, Rob Nickerson and Chris Hill. I apologise to 
> them that the LWG has not been in a position due to lack of manpower 
> to give support despite requests to do so. I therefore suggest the 
> following:
> We (all) take a simple unified stance that:
> 1) The Open Government License, OGL, was deliberately brought into 
> being to provide a consistent, harmonious platform for releasing open 
> government-funded and government-owned data. The OS OpenData License 
> is clearly at odds with this and should be retired completely. 
> Anything currently under the OS license should re-published under OGL 
> at the earliest opportunity.
> 2) There is a set of other key datasets which we believe need to be 
> unequivocally published under OGL for the public good:
>     - PROW data, however provided.
>     - "Royal Mail" address database, (I am shaky on the details on 
> this, Robert Barr is the man to talk to).
>    - Others you may identify.
> I, and I believe all other LWG members, will be at SOTM 2013 in 
> Birmingham.  I suggest that we all meet up then.  If possible, I'd 
> like to make points 1 and 2 as a formal LWG/OSMF submission to ODUG 
> before then.  However, I want to be sure that I get all my facts 
> straight, and lack of time to read everything up is what is stopping 
> me right now.  Any comments/support greatly welcomed.
> Mike
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