[Talk-GB] DoBIH Update - Permission Received

Silent Spike silentspike100 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 16:05:08 UTC 2019

Starting a new thread as I noticed the old one is somehow entangled with
the M1 Junction thread on the archive (see "Database of British and Irish

I have a signed copy of the CC BY 3.0 permission document, received from
Chris Crocker who handles copyright and licensing issues on behalf of the
DoBIH editorial team. So as far as the DoBIH is concerned, OSM may
incorporate the data in their database if attribution is added as per the

Regarding the raised point on derived data, I had mentioned this to Chris
in our correspondence and he first explained:

I don't believe you need any other permissions to use data from the DoBIH.
> OS maps, being creative works, are subject to Crown copyright and OS
> requires an acknowledgement for their reuse, but I have always understood
> that heights and grid references are scientific fact and as such are not
> copyrightable. Certainly there are hundreds of commercial publications in
> the hillwaking world that tabulate such data. None of those that I've read
> do more than mention OS maps as the source of their data. The OS data we
> use is derived from the maps on geograph.org.uk which gives OS mapping at
> all scales from 1:250,000 to 1:10,000. According to the site the Geograph
> maps are licensed under the OS OpenSpace Developer Agreement. I note that
> your Contributors page credits Ordnance Survey OpenData. Other heights and
> grid references are derived from the Environmental Agency's LIDAR surveys
> which are freely available on the DEFRA platform, from detailed hill
> surveys conducted by ourselves and third parties who supply data to us, and
> from numerous walkers who submit 10-figure grid references (these are
> responsible for over 60% of summit GRs).

 Later sharing some more insight on the subject:

There is greater clarity in the more litigious US, where it has been
> established in US copyright law that most data are considered "facts", i.e.
> belonging to the domain of knowledge (a public benefit), and therefore not
> copyrightable. This was clarified in an addendum that reads “*In no case
> does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any
> idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle,
> or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained,
> illustrated, or embodied in such work.*” The effort in obtaining the data
> is irrelevant. In essence, observational and experimental data are “facts”
> that are free to be shared and reused without copyright restriction. The
> only data that are copyrightable are those containing what the US calls
> expressive choice, such as photographs, drawings, graphs or visualisations
> (but you would be free to make your own drawing from a photograph or a map,
> as Wainwright did). There is nothing to contradict this in the UK Copyright
> and Patents Act, which specifies "Any literary, dramatic, design, musical
> or artistic work". The requirement in both the US and Europe is creativity.
> So the way data is structured (e.g. the grouping of hills into Catchments
> and Watersheds in the DoBIH) might be copyrightable.
> Database right, which is applicable to the DoBIH in the EU, is something
> different. It protects the structure of a database, provided there is
> sufficient intellectual creativity (dumping data into a spreadsheet is not
> enough!), but not on its own the data inside it. However database right
> protects against the abstaction of a substantial proportion of a database
> without permission.
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