[Talk-GB] OS OpenData now OGL

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Fri Feb 20 09:41:36 UTC 2015

On 18 February 2015 at 13:52, Robert Whittaker (OSM lists)
<robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com> wrote:
> The OS OpenData Licence is also used by Local Authorities and other
> Public Bodies when licensing Geographic Data that's been derived from
> OS Products under a Public Sector Mapping Agreement exemption. The
> licence has prevented the use of this data in OSM up to this point. I
> would imagine that the announcement from OS means that the licence
> they allow third parties to release OS-derived data under will also
> change to the OGL. But at the moment, it's not clear if or how this
> will happen, and whether it will be retrospectively applied to
> previous releases. I've contacted OS to ask about this
> (https://twitter.com/rjw62/status/567741494686384128), and hope to
> receive a reply shortly.

I've now had a reply from OS about this. They say:


Previous such releases will not necessarily be included - only those
that we are informed about in the future.

If the dataset had already been notified to us, or we had approved a
derived data exemption application on terms "equivalent to OS OpenData
terms" then members are not expected to do anything (i.e. there is no
need to take any retrospective action), as they have already been
granted "a worldwide, royalty free, perpetual, non-exclusive licence
to use the Information".

All they need to do is to check that that are attaching the correct
acknowledgement to the derived data for the licence they are using.
Nonetheless, they can move across to the Open Government Licence (v3)
terms if they want to, or (for example) they are refreshing the

This information will be added into the public sector licensing guidance soon.


I think it means that new PSMA exemptions will use the OGL by default.
For existing ones, the public authority isn't under any obligation to
change the licence, but will be able to do so if they want to. I've
posted further details/background at

It might take some individual contacting of councils etc. to persuade
them to change their licences, but in general this is good news.
Hopefully OS will issue good guidance to make things as simple as
possible for public authorities to understand and act on.


Robert Whittaker

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