[OSM-talk] Launching OpenAddresses

Rob Nickerson rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 23:00:39 UTC 2014

I wouldn't get too excited about that EU directive. I've read it twice now
and both times I came to the conclusion that (at least for the UK) address
data will NOT suddenly become available to OSM. For example the directive
still allows for Charging and the use of Licences.

The directive [1] (which is best read alongside the original [2]) is about
access ("re-use") to public data without discriminating between "comparable
categories of re-use". So what it is really saying is:

* Public sector information should be made available for re-use (unless it
falls under a few listed cases)
* The data holder can charge
* The data holder can add a Licence
* But if they do then it should be the same charge and same Licence for all
end users who are wanting to do the same thing with the data (i.e. you
cannot use charging to restrict competition).

On charging the directive [1] will add a new statement to the older
directive [2] that charges must not be more than the marginal cost
"incurred for their reproduction, provision and dissemination" UNLESS the
public sector body "are required to generate revenue to cover a substantial
part of their costs relating to the performance of their public tasks". In
the UK address data is effectively controlled by what we call a "Trading
Fund". These run like businesses - they rely on their ability to derive
income from their activities in order to cover their costs. As such, in the
UK, the charge would be allowed to exceed this marginal cost.


p.s. As always, this is my interpretation of the Directive. I not a lawyer,

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