October 6, 2009

I just signed up to a petition about postcodes.

The context is that Royal Mail asked someone to stop giving not-for-profit websites access to postcode data. From a database copyright perspective, Royal Mail is within its rights to do this; but it seems wrong that socially useful non-commercial sites are unable to make use of postcodes without paying a high license fee.

Compare this to the US, where this data is freely available.

However, why stop with non-commercial sites? The economic boost to small businesses from a freely-available postcode database would likely exceed the revenue made via licensing.

Meanwhile, of course, OpenStreetMap will continue to improve its postcode coverage until the whole question becomes moot.

Nifty tech tag lists fromĀ Wouter Beeftink