Thousands benefit from new licensing freedoms

(originally published by 'IT for Housing')

Ordnance Survey, Britain's national mapping agency, is making it easier for around 13,000 customers to make copies of paper maps for their business management needs.

Simplified paper map copyright licences will come into force from 1 January 2001, helping customers to cut their administrative burden and making Internet publication much faster to arrange.

In their everyday work, many companies copy paper maps such as Ordnance Survey's highly-detailed Superplan plots or its smaller-scale leisure maps. The new licences will ensure that customers can make unlimited copies of paper maps for business use and publish maps for display and promotion purposes, so long as they make no direct financial gain. This means customers can put Ordnance Survey mapping in brochures and leaflets (up to A3 size) and on their web sites (no size restriction) to explain and support their business activities, but not to make money directly - for example, by selling books featuring Ordnance Survey maps.

Annual licence fees will be based solely on the number of offices making copies, so customers will no longer have to estimate the number of individual copies overall.
And in a further move, it will be possible from January for new customers to apply for a licence online through the Ordnance Survey web site -
Simpler licensing is a further step on the way to allowing more people to use more Ordnance Survey mapping for more purposes. It reflects the latest stage in implementing the agency's new business model, agreed last year, which aims to maximise the benefits to Britain of its vast store of information.

"We aim to spread our products and services as widely as possible," says David Willey, Ordnance Survey's Director of Business Strategy and Finance. "Our strategy is to remove obstacles to people using and gaining benefit from our mapping. We will continue to change and adapt to achieve this."