OS Maps

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Enndee
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OS Maps

Post by Enndee »

Hi

I want to use an OS map. Can I scan it, make copies and print or paint words on top of it, and then sell ??

I understand if the map is over 50 years old this can be used. Is that right??

It's an old Vintage Ordnance Survey c1957 map of my area.

Thank you
ND
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AndyJ
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Re: OS Maps

Post by AndyJ »

Hi enndee,

Older Ordnance Survey maps are subject to Crown copyright for which special rules apply - see section 163 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. And you are nearly right about the 50 years bit. It begins to run from the date the map is first published, that is to say, put on sale to the public. This will usually be a different date from the edition date since the edition date is based on the date of the survey and not the printing date. The latter comes some time afterwards as the maps have first to be drawn or revised, checked and indexed etc before they can be printed.

However for the sake of completeness Ordnance Survey products created after 1 April 2015 are no longer protected by Crown Copyright as OS is now a private company and its employees are not Crown servants. Therefore the standard term of protection will apply to these more recent products.

Confirmation of the above can be found on the OS website.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
Enndee
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Re: OS Maps

Post by Enndee »

Thanks for your reply AndyJ :)

I had read the OS Crown Copyright Laws before this enquiry, and I still don't think it's clear if I can use this or not??

The map I want to use was published in 1957.

I also have an old 1860 OS map. May I be best using this one??

I realise it's a total minefield and appreciate your expertise.

Thanks
ND
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AndyJ
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Re: OS Maps

Post by AndyJ »

Hi again enndee,

Check to see if there is any revision information on the map sheet. I have a much more recent Rangefinder map that has some information about reprinting. The map data had been revised in 1986 but it then added "reprinted with selected changes 1991" I would take that last date to be the publication date for my particular map.

If in doubt contact the OS for clarification. I doubt if they are going to say no or make you get a licence if it's only a matter of a couple of months between the actual date of publication and 50 years back from 31 December 2022 (copyright always continues until the end of the calendar year in which the precise copyright term ends). No problem whatsoever with the 1860 map. Many people are legally producing facsimile OS maps from that era.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
Enndee
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Re: OS Maps

Post by Enndee »

Appreciate all the help.

Thanks a million :)

ND
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