Postal Addresses on a website

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Postal Addresses on a website

Post by jack_stringer »

I have a question for you all.

If I was to copy postal addresses from the company's own website would I be violating the copyright that they have on their website.

For example,
I want to make a list of fast food places such as Burger King, to get the information I could go onto the BK website and get the information from here.
I would also like to make a list of Pubs in the UK, would getting the postal address off their own website be infringing any copyright.

I understand that it would be naughty to get the information from sites like the Yellow Pages but I can't see an issue with getting info from their own site.

The reason why is that I am working on the Open Street Map project and I don't want to put information onto the map that maybe copyrighted.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jack Stringer
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Post by CopyrightAid »

Personally (and please note - this is not legal advice), I cannot see that there is a problem.

If you were copying wholesale from an already compiled source (like Yellow pages) this could be risky, but I cannot see any problem in copying a postal address from the companies own website - certainly not from a copyright perspective. (even if the address could be classified as a literary work - who is the author?).
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Post by AndyJ »

Frankly I would go one step further than CopyrightAid, and say there is definitely no copyright infringement here. For anything to be a literary work, it has to have the ingredient of originality (amongst other things) so there can be no originality in an addresss, say 123 High Street, Anytown, which would have existed before BurgerKing set up there, and would in fact have been 'created' by some town hall bureaucrat many years ago. The source of the your information could have been any of a number of places, including you walking down the High Street noting down the details. The fact that you plundered their website for this information is irrellevant.
Interestingly, the Royal Mail have tried to insist that they own the copyright to postcodes, and that anyone who tries to use postcodes in a large scale way (such as in certain location finder software) has to pay royalties to them. As far as I know, this claim has not yet been tested in the courts.
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