Copyright row between Ordnance Survey and Google map users
The BBC reports that the Ordnance Survey, perhaps the ultimate authority on maps, have said they are concerned over users of Google Maps adding Ordnance Survey copyright material to Google maps.
Apparently the Ordnance Survey have issued a document to local authorities warning them about copyright infringements if they take Ordnance Survey data and re-plot it onto Google maps. A copy of this document has been obtained by the Guardian newspaper which has been running a long term campaign to encourage public bodies to release data into the public domain. According to the Guardian this crack down by the Ordnance Survey could have a serious effect on a number of new public data projects. For example the police use Ordnance Survey data as part of the Home Office's crime mapping initiative. They will not now be able to take that data and insert it into Google maps.
An Ordnance Survey spokesperson has said to the BBC that they object to Google's terms conditions, which they interpret to say that Google can "reproduce, modify and distribute content that is entered into their maps." Google say that this is a misunderstanding of their terms and conditions and that they are not claiming ownership of that information, just the right to crawl it and use it for marketing purposes.
The Ordnance Survey terms and conditions of use are displayed quite prominently on their website. The Guardian with its Free Our Data campaign and the Ordnance Survey have crossed swords before over the value the Ordnance places on its data.