[Talk-us] Public Domain Non-GPS Data Question

Dale Puch dale.puch at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 03:39:46 GMT 2009

Sorry, I typed without refreshing my memory.
Here is a link that applies to California regarding state GIS data due to
their public records act

For Florida http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=4084

That is what I was thinking of.  So I was wrong and it is not federal law,
but state law that has been used to free the gis data in several cases.
For Florida it is referred to as "freedom of information" and that is what
got me going in the wrong direction.

Regardless, ask first as it is the best policy.  If they turn you down, then
you can look for something similar in the states constitution that covers
public records, and if they are copyrightable.  Look for "open records"
freedom of information" "public record"

Some further reading might be:
other state specific information

It would appear that Michigan has specifically allowed charging for the data
and restricting its distribution.  see the access policy, license and fees

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Christopher Schmidt <
crschmidt at metacarta.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 06:19:07PM +0000, Dale Puch wrote:
> > For some quick visualization with OSM data, Merkaator now can read shp
> files
> > as well, but less options for the display.
> >
> > Asking the GIS department about the data is generally the best way to
> find
> > out about the data.  As a general rule US local, state and national GIS
> data
> > should be in the public domain due to...
> No.
> Works created by the US Government are not copyrightable, as per the
> terms of copyright law:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_of_the_United_States_Government
>  'The term only applies to the work of the federal government, not state
>  or local governments. In general, under section 105 of the Copyright
>  Act,[2] such works are not entitled to domestic copyright protection
>  under U.S. law, sometimes referred to as "noncopyright."'
> > The freedom of information act I
> > think, and the clasification of GIS data.  A few places that have been
> > selling the data have taken convincing via a lawsuit, but have so far
> lost.
> FOIA allows *access* to the information at the state/local level for a
> reasonable charge, but does not grant copyright, and the works can not
> neccesarily be republished.
> Many local GIS departments are completely aware that their funds come
> from taxpayers, and taxpayers should be able to use their data freely.
> As it turns out, the Blacksburg GIS department is one of these, and
> feels that their work is under the public domain. However, there is no
> national law or even comon set of state laws that requires this; it is
> generally simply policy by the GIS departments.
> This is why it is usually best to just ask; you'll usually get a yes
> anyway, but it's best to have it done 'just in case'.
> Regards,
> --
> Christopher Schmidt
> MetaCarta
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-us mailing list
> Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-us

Dale Puch
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