[Talk-GB] OT: Ordnance Survey accused of stifling competition in open data row

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 19 23:15:26 UTC 2014

On 19 November 2014 19:13, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> UK mapping agency Ordnance Survey stands accused of using £800m of
> government contracts to stifle competition in a row over the release of
> geographical information as open data.
> http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240234712/Ordnance-Survey-accused-of-stifling-competition-in-open-data-row

Which reminds me, The Office of Public Sector Information / National
Archives are currently reviewing Ordnance Survey's Open Data
licensing, and are soliciting comments from current and potential
re-users. See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/keeping-touch/re-users-licensees-rss-feed/

OS currently use their custom "OS OpenData Licence" for their own data
and also force Local Authorities to do the same when they release
OS-derived geodata of their own. This is based on the standard Open
Government Licence, but contains some additional terms. Since it's at
best unclear whether OS OpenData Licence is compatible with the ODbL,
LWG has ruled that we shouldn't use OS OpenData Licensed material in
OSM without explicit permission from the rights holders. Further
details can be found at
http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/os-open-data.html and

If anyone else is unhappy about OS not just using the standard Open
Government Licence (which guarantees compatibility with the ODbL, and
hence usability in OSM) this consultation / review would be a good
opportunity to let the Office of Public Sector Information know -- as
they may actually be able to do something about it.


Robert Whittaker

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