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Rights of way on OS maps -- public domain info?



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 10th 04, 04:03 PM
Nick Whitelegg
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Default Rights of way on OS maps -- public domain info?

Thanks for all Freemap replies.

One thing that got me thinking: the OS take their rights of way info
from definitive council maps. Now according to the West Sussex County
Council site, the path info on definitive maps is public domain. Thus,
one could infer that path info on OS maps is public domain by proxy.

So in that case, even if someone was to copy *rights of way* (not
other features such as roads, summits, woods etc) of an OS map and
contribute them to Freemap, it would be legitimate?

Nick
  #2  
Old October 10th 04, 06:44 PM
Nicknelsonleeds
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One thing that got me thinking: the OS take their rights of way info
from definitive council maps. Now according to the West Sussex County
Council site, the path info on definitive maps is public domain. Thus,
one could infer that path info on OS maps is public domain by proxy.


I imagine they would argue that since the rights of way are plotted
on (copyright) OS base mapping, then the fact that a given path
IS a right of way is public domain information, but that the survey
information which places the path geographically isn't.

Nick


  #5  
Old October 11th 04, 04:20 PM
Nick Whitelegg
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"pete bland" wrote in message . ..


It is certainly arguable that OS don't have copyright - or at least a
sole copyright - on the lines which depict rights of way on maps, but
it would be rash to assume that this info is 'public domain', in the
sense of being free for anyone to use as they think fit. The statement
on the West Sussex website says:

"The Ordnance Survey mapping included within this web-site is provided
by West Sussex County Council under licence from Ordnance Survey in
order to fulfil its public function to make Council-held public domain
information available."

- which isn't quite the same as saying that all path info is free of
copyright.


I took that to mean the OS maps that they overlay their digital
definitive map on, rather than the digital definitive map itself.

Nick
  #6  
Old October 11th 04, 07:52 PM
Andrew Kay
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"Nick Whitelegg" wrote in message
om...
Thanks for all Freemap replies.

One thing that got me thinking: the OS take their rights of way info
from definitive council maps. Now according to the West Sussex County
Council site, the path info on definitive maps is public domain. Thus,
one could infer that path info on OS maps is public domain by proxy.

So in that case, even if someone was to copy *rights of way* (not
other features such as roads, summits, woods etc) of an OS map and
contribute them to Freemap, it would be legitimate?


The data itself is not copyright. Date is never copyright - only a specific
arrangement of data or the way in which the data is represented. For
intellectual property to exist and hence be regarded as copyright, there has
to be some creative input somewhere. An author cannot claim copyright over
the letters of the alphabet - but if he arranged them into say a novel, then
it would be his intellectual property.

A database design can be copyright - but its content not usually so. The
line styles used on OS maps will be copyright - and so also are OS map
references in the format SD 12345 67890 - because Ordnance Survey devised
that format.

If Freemap uses OS/BNG format map references rather than latitude/longitude
then I guess OS *might* have an arguement about breach of copyright.

Cheers
Andrew Kay






  #7  
Old October 11th 04, 08:24 PM
Dave Pickles
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pete bland wrote:

On 10 Oct 2004 07:03:11 -0700, (Nick
Whitelegg) wrote:

...the path info on definitive maps is public domain.


- but as another response says, it is drawn by reference to the
features shown on an OS base map, so there is a difficulty. It is true
that there is an exception to normal copyright rules for the local
authority's Definitive Map of rights of way - since it is open to
public inspection - but that only applies to the original D.M., not
derivative information.

It is certainly arguable that OS don't have copyright - or at least a
sole copyright - on the lines which depict rights of way on maps, but
it would be rash to assume that this info is 'public domain', in the
sense of being free for anyone to use as they think fit. The statement
on the West Sussex website says:

"The Ordnance Survey mapping included within this web-site is provided
by West Sussex County Council under licence from Ordnance Survey in
order to fulfil its public function to make Council-held public domain
information available."

- which isn't quite the same as saying that all path info is free of
copyright.


I've seen notices varying ROWs which give the information in text form, eg
"from a point 10 metres SE of so-and-so in a northerly direction to a point
100 metres NW of something-else". If all ROW information is available in
that form then it would be possible to freely transcribe the track onto any
map.
--
Dave
  #8  
Old October 11th 04, 08:25 PM
Phil Cook
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On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 18:52:52 +0100, Andrew Kay wrote:

If Freemap uses OS/BNG format map references rather than latitude/longitude
then I guess OS *might* have an arguement about breach of copyright.


Except that the OSGB position format (even if it was copyright) would
be out of copyright by now since they invented the National Grid
before 1954. All materials produced by the Ordnance Survey (OS) are
covered by Crown Copyright and the OS administers this. Crown
copyright in published material lasts 50 years from the end of the
year of publication.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"



  #9  
Old October 11th 04, 09:02 PM
Roger
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The message
from "Andrew Kay" contains
these words:

A database design can be copyright - but its content not usually so. The
line styles used on OS maps will be copyright - and so also are OS map
references in the format SD 12345 67890 - because Ordnance Survey devised
that format.


The British National Grid (in its original format) was in use on
military maps well before the civilian side of the OS hijacked the
system and made a few largely cosmetic changes before letting it loose
on the unsuspecting general public. It was certainly in use by 1936 and
is thus well out of copyright. Even if the current system has sufficient
legs to stand on its own that too would by now be out of copyright.

--
Roger Chapman so far this year 69 summits
New - 47 (Marilyns 13, Sweats 5, Outlying Fells 35)
Repeats - 22( Marilyns 7, Sweats 16, Wainwrights 16)
 




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