[npemap-talk] Postcodes & copyright

Nick Burch lists at gagravarr.org
Mon Jan 26 12:01:56 GMT 2009


On Mon, 26 Jan 2009, Russ Phillips wrote:
> I have a question. I like the efforts made to collect postcode data by 
> NPE and Free the Postcode, and have contributed data to all three 
> projects. However, I don't understand why collecting postcode data 
> through sites like NPE and Free the Postcode is not infringing Royal 
> Mail's copyright.

Our understanding is that you can't copyright a single postcode. You can, 
however, claim a similar bit of IP rights (database rights) over a 
collection of postcodes

If you extract a bunch of postcodes + lat + long combinations from 
codepoint, or even if lots of people each extract one set, then you're 
infringing on the RM database rights on the collection. If you were to 
extract out a long list of postcodes, but not lat + long, from one of the 
RM databases, then again you're infringing on DB rights.

However, taking one postcode (with no other data), and work out its 
position yourself, there is no extraction from the RM database, so no 
infringement.

Nick



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