By Daniel Hunter

The Federation Against Software Theft has warmly welcomed the latest campaign to protect intellectual property rights being undertaken by Ordnance Survey.

The campaign — targeting those across the land and property sector — is a major initiative aimed at raising awareness of the use of unlicensed data and educating end users on the benefits and risks associated with the use of its data.

“The campaign provides a road map for architects and others in the land and property sector to avoid copyright infringement," Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST, stated.

“The relatively recent case of HMSO and Ordnance Survey v Green Amps Limited highlighted how easily copyright infringement can occur unbeknownst to the end user,’ he continued.

Jonathan Cornthwaite, Partner at Wedlake Bell LLP, the London law firm, added: “It is settled law in this country that artistic and literary copyright can exist in maps, and that the reproduction of all or a substantial part of a map without permission can therefore give rise to liability for infringement of the copyright subsisting in it.”

Julian continued: “What is often overlooked is that liability of this sort might not be satisfactorily covered by one's professional indemnity insurance cover. Firstly, it is by no means the case that all PI insurance policies cover liability for infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights. And secondly, even if copyright infringement covered by one's policy, the cover might only extend to unintentional or accidental infringements.”

The campaign, being launched in October 2012, includes a major report into unlicensed data across the land and property sector.

Julian concluded: “Correctly-licensed data, such as Ordnance Survey’s, is essential in business use and have many advantages. Not only is using unlicensed data illegal, which can have implications for your business and its reputation, but decisions based on unlicensed data may put your company’s indemnity insurance at risk. Overall, to reduce significant risk, cost and inefficiencies, it is essential to make sure that your data are fully licensed.”

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