[Publicwhip-playing] Re: [geo-discuss] Re: [Openstreetmap] Coders
needed for similar project & UK FOI act request update.
ral at alum.mit.edu
Fri Nov 11 14:05:08 GMT 2005
Rufus Pollock wrote:
> I think Roger is absolutely right formally on this. However should the
> FOI request succeed surely that would imply that all British Citizens
> are entitled to access to this data. If that were the case while
> re-use would be prohibited why would redistribution to other (UK)
> individuals be illegal -- it would simply be a quicker method of
> getting the data than endless FOI requests by different citizens.
"Re-distribution" of copyrighted material _IS _re-use/exploitation and
hence violates copyright unless such use falls under allowed 'fair use'
legislation which is imprecise and determined mainly by case law which
differs from country to country.
> Roger Longhorn wrote:
>> James is quite correct. FoI is about access, NOT exploitation.
>> Copyright is copyright, regardless of how you gain access to the
>> material. In countries like the USA where much (not all) federal data
>> and information is automatically, legally put into the public domain
>> (a legal dimension of data, nothing to do with whether or not it is
>> made publicly available), then anyone can do anything that they want
>> to/with it. Assuming that you can find it - hence the FoI Act in the
>> USA, which prevents the US government from hiding such public domain
>> info from view - you cannot exploit what you cannot see/find!
>> In most of Europe - not just the UK - and in Cnada, Australia and
>> many other countries in the world, government data is copyrighted by
>> the government or the department or agency who created it. Don't
>> forget, unless something is *put *in the public domain explicitly
>> either by law (as in USA for federal data - only federal, not state
>> or local gov data) or by declaration (you can surrender your
>> copyright officially, declaring that something for which you hold
>> copyeright is now in the public domain), then cpyright in the
>> material still exists. And in databases, copyright now exists due
>> implementation of the EU's Database Protection Directive across all
>> EU Member States (25).
>> Simply gaining access to information or a dataset by way of your
>> country's FoI Act does NOT confer any rights to re-use of that data.
>> Those of you who have been assuming that FoI in the UK will answer
>> your data problems had better take some professional legal acvice
>> very soon, at least before you decide to launch any new product or
>> service, even for free, without the express permission of the
>> data/information owner (copyrght holder). The fines for copyright
>> infringement are quite horrendous. And similar fines apply for
>> 'vicarious copyright infringement' which covers cases where you
>> publish or exploit someone else's material, thinking that it was
>> copyright-free, when in fact it was not - even if you did not realise
>> Roger Longhorn
>> ral at alum.mit.edu
>> (recent gradutate of the WIPO Academy course in Copyright and Related
>> Rights, July, 2005).
>> James Cronin wrote:
>>> Hi Jo,
>>>> On Thu, Nov 10, 2005 at 12:59:23PM -0800, Jo Walsh wrote:
>>>>> hello clive, list,
>>>>> On Wed, Nov 09, 2005 at 05:05:26PM +0000, Clive Galway wrote:
>>>>>> On a side note, as a result of this project, I am currently
>>>>>> trying to push through a Freedom of Information Act request on
>>>>>> the British Government to get them to release UK political
>>>>>> boundary data (eg counties etc) into the public domain on the
>>>>>> grounds that political boundaries of our country are the property
>>>>>> of the populace and not Ordnance Survey as they are saying.
>>>>>> The original request was denied, it is currently on appeal and I
>>>>>> am in talks with the ombudsman's office ( The governing body one
>>>>>> appeals to if they feel the request / appeal has been unlawfully
>>>>>> denied ) who seem to be quite outraged that this information is
>>>>>> not free and they think I am in with a half-decent chance.
>>> I'm sorry, this is probably something I don't fully understand, but
>>> I don't see why information being released to you under FOI necessarily
>>> places it free of copyright and hence into the public domain?
>>> I'm not a lawyer but I've had a go at reading around this and can't
>>> see that you'd be granted any additional rights to use data released
>>> in this way over and above any that you had already just because it was
>>> disclosed to you under FOI?
>>> Surely it's the rights that you want (or rather the right to further
>>> distribute without inhibition) not the actual data itself. So I can't
>>> see why this FOI request is relevant to what you want to achieve.
>>> The boundary data isn't secret. FOI was meant to prevent stuff from
>>> unnecessarily being secret rather than forcing everything to be free?
>>> Please someone explain how I've got this wrong.
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