[OSM-talk] OTish : Free The Postcode via OSM

Simon Hewison simon at zymurgy.org
Sun Jul 29 21:45:47 BST 2007

Minty wrote:
> Hi,
> Quick clarifying question:
> If I can point to a location on OSM of, for example, a Theatre,
> School, Shop, etc....

> Is it legit to find that Theatre/School/Shop's address via Google,
> pick up the postcode from their website and use that to populate Free
> The Postcode?

Very grey area. Certainly the co-ordinates returned by a Google Maps 
search for a UK delivery point will be copyright Royal Mail, a dataset 
which Google will licence, and pay a really hefty fee for it - after 
all, it does make their commercial website very useful. Don't do that. 
It's not beyond commercial greed for a nosey parker in Royal Mail to 
compare FreeThePostcode's postcode co-ordinates against theirs, and try 
to sue a non-profit organisation.

I'm also convinced that there's Easter Eggs in the Royal Mail Address 
Manager / Royal Mail PAF dataset.

The business listings for the theatre school in Google will probably 
come from a commercial business directory, which Google either licence, 
or crawl across the theatre school's web site, and take it from there.

Again, that commercial business directory, displayed in the top links of 
Google searches may well have misinformation, and easter eggs, to catch 
out copying.

My guidance is that if you have found the theatre school's own web site, 
and you find their postcode on that under contact details; and you 
happen to personally know where it is on a map, then that postcode is 
fair game.. BUT..

Openstreetmap map data is creative commons - SA licenced.
Freethepostcode is public domain.

There's a niggling issue with the licencing of your work derived from a 
CC:SA licence to a public domain licence, which is why a similar 
project, www.npemap.org.uk doesn't use openstreetmap as a backdrop, but 
an out-of-copyright ordnance survey map.

Simon Hewison

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