[okfn-discuss] Postcode data petition - unsure.
jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Wed Oct 14 14:15:27 BST 2009
Indeed - I was thinking along similar lines when I read Tom Watson's
letter, which appears to be arguing for non-commercial access:
This seems to overlook the economic arguments about making postcode
data fully open.
On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 3:09 PM, Jo Walsh <jo at frot.org> wrote:
> dear all,
> I've seen posted today a petition to provide "non-profit and community
> websites" with free access to the Royal Mail data - this is in the
> wake of the statement from planningalerts.com that they are
> considering withdrawing their service rather than pay licensing fees
> to the Royal Mail - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7700621.stm
> - thanks, James.
> I'm doubtful enough about this not to sign the petition.
> Open access for "non-profits" will create an administration burden, as
> organisations need to be certified, some may not even be legal
> entities yet be popular going concerns, proposed usage needs to be
> evaluated. Lots of time needed from humans here.
> There is a spectrum, not a line, between non-profit and for-profit
> activity. There are plenty of organisations that make a surplus to be
> reinvested in operations. There are plenty of websites out there
> running Google AdWords to support running costs, money changes hands,
> the behaviour is commercial. Politicians talk about social enterprise,
> the third sector, does this description fit. There's also a lot of
> potential non-"website" use in running mailling lists, canvassing
> applications, would this be included.
> Open access to postcode data for all, would be cheaper to run as well
> as a more equitable position. There's a factoid from Rufus in a
> Guardian article covering this discussion: "Rufus Pollock, a Cambridge
> economist who co-wrote a study for the government on the economic
> benefit of making trading funds' data free, calculates that making
> PostZon free would bring an economic benefit 50% greater than Royal
> Mail's present revenues."
> And ultimately Royal Mail would make savings on staffing in licensing,
> legal, distribution, security, which is hard, but it is the times.
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