[OSGeo-UK] UK postcode database

Charles Arnot arnotc at rpsgroup.com
Wed Sep 23 05:06:46 EDT 2009

Hi all,


Just to be pedantic on the analogy front, the Pirate Bay analogy is not
accurate, if you download something from a torrent site like Pirate Bay,
you will be downloading a small torrent file which is not illegal. If
you then use the torrent file with a torrent client to download what
ever target file the torrent is distributing (i.e. a film, postcode data
etc.)  you will be illegally distributing the target file (if it is
copyrighted material) because of the nature of a peer to peer
distribution network in which you both download and upload the target
file to/from other peoples computers simultaneously. 


In the case of wiki leaks if you chose to download the postcode data you
are not simultaneously uploading it over a peer to peer network and
therefore not actively distributing it. 


It's therefore not the same. 


As to whether it's illegal just to download copyright material I'm not
sure if the act itself is illegal. It is though, as we are all aware, an
infringement to have unlicensed/out of licence material on your computer
so it's a mute point.


Maybe this is a good opportunity to discuss what open source/free
geocoding resources there are out there.


I have use this site 'http://www.batchgeocode.com/' to batch geocode uk
address with some degree of success (about a 80% match), no doubt there
are better options available?







From: uk-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:uk-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On
Behalf Of Tom (JDi Solutions)
Sent: 22 September 2009 11:02
To: Joanne Cook
Cc: osgeo-uk
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-UK] UK postcode database


Hi all,

Just in case anyone is in any doubt, it is absolutely illegal to use
this data without a license.  Perhaps a better analogy is that of
downloading an album from thepiratebay because this is data that has
been created by someone and protected by copyright as a result.  If you
didn't pay for the album you're not legally allowed to download it, the
same is true of the postcode data.  Of course it's very useful but Royal
Mail have got a history of pursuing people who attempt to use this stuff
illegally.  It's a real shame, personally I'm on the side of the
freeourdata campaign but until that bears fruit I would advise people
not to touch this.  Especially for use in the public domain.


On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 5:41 PM, Joanne Cook <j.cook at oxfordarch.co.uk>

Now this brings up an interesting dilemma- thanks to John for starting
it off!

On one hand, the UK chapter has a policy of only supporting and
documenting data that is legally freely available, and I think we'd be
unwilling to include anything from wikileaks in that list. However, it's
incredibly useful data that's hard to obtain from any other source, and
as someone said recently, perhaps even about the same leak- you can't
put the toothpaste back in the tube. I hope that this disclosure leads
to a better and more open system in future.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Larcombe" <andrew at andrewlarcombe.co.uk>
To: "osgeo-uk" <uk at lists.osgeo.org>
Sent: Monday, 21 September, 2009 17:03:39 GMT +00:00 GMT Britain,
Ireland, Portugal
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-UK] UK postcode database

On 21 Sep 2009, at 16:40, Barry Rowlingson wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 3:55 PM, John A Stevenson
> <john.stevenson at manchester.ac.uk> wrote:
>> The UK postcode database has been posted on Wikileaks.
>> Now, just like a TomTom(TM) or GoogleEarth(TM), you too can find
>> the lat-lon
>> of any address in the UK.
>> http://wikileaks.org/wiki/
>> UK_government_database_of_all_1,841,177_post_codes_together_with_prec
>> ise_geographic_coordinates_and_other_information,_8_Jul_2009
>  What's the difference between that and:
>  "A torrent file of MS Office has been put on www.thepiratebay.org,
> now you too can write documents and make spreadsheets"
>  Whatever we may think of open government and open data, I think the
> postcode database is still copyright material and distribution via
> wikileaks or any other mechanism is surely legally dubious.

Your analogy doesn't quite hold up as there are many ways to create
documents and spreadsheets, but only one source of data for postcodes.

It is still copyright though etc...



Andrew Larcombe
Freelance Geospatial, Database & Web Programming

UK mailing list
UK at lists.osgeo.org

Joanne Cook
Senior IT Support and Development
Oxford Archaeology (North)
01524 880212

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