Public sector agreement licences

This section is about the documents relating to the PSMA and OSMA, including the Member Licences and the subsidiary licences available for members to use.

Please note:

  • These documents only apply to our intellectual property rights (IPR) and interests and does not change or supersede any other third-party IPR rights (for example, Royal Mail or Office for National Statistics IPR).
  • When you are combining information from other sources, before you make information available to others, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary permission(s) from any other third-party IPR owners.

There are four parts to this guidance about the two public sector agreements and the associated licensing arrangements:

Tip: 'right click' a hyperlink to open it in a new browser tab. 

General

What is meant by Agreement documents?

The PSMA agreement document contains the full terms of the agreement between the Department for Business, Energy and Innovation Strategy and OS relating to the supply and licensing of mapping data to the public sector in England and Wales.

The OSMA agreement document contains the full terms of the agreement between Scottish Government and Ordnance Survey relating to the supply and licensing of mapping data to the public sector in Scotland.

You can find both of these in the documents section below.

Why are there different licences?

Where you are using OS Licensed Data (either on its own or in conjunction with other data), the principal licence is the Member Licence; as this sets out the agreed extent of use that you make of that data before you need an additional licence from OS.

There are a number of associated licences that you then need to use, depending on the type of data, what use being made of that data, and by whom.

Note: where you are only using OS OpenData (with or without your own independently sourced data (i.e. non-OS data)) then only the Open Government Licence (OGL) licence applies. 

All the licences are available in the documents section below.

What is meant by Member Licence?

The Member Licence sets out the terms of what you can and can't do with the data you are licenced for and can access through your agreement. 

As a summary, the Member Licence is a non-commercial licence that allows you to use OS data products for particular purposes, known as Core Business. Typically this means the provision of your public sector services.

Under this definition, you are entitled to use data provided through your agreement to meet your public service delivery obligations. For example:

  • Creating and monitoring policy
  • Operational management of government
  • Delivering government business and public services
  • Making information available to the public
  • Performing any other function required by statute
  • Passing / sharing derived information and / or data to 3rd parties
Are there any other associated licences we need to use?

Yes; there are 5 associated (subsidiary) licences

All the licences are available in the documents section below.

Which of these licences take precedence?

The Member Licence, as this determines the extent of use that you can make of OS Licensed Data.

All the other licences are activity-based, meaning that which licence is used is dependent on how you are making information available to 3rd parties.

This includes Royal Mail's PAF PSL Licence when you are using addressing data (including, if you are a local authority, when you are using your Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) as the source). 

How do I know if a member has a PAF PSL licence?

Royal Mail have created a web page where you can find out if an organisation has signed up to the PAF Public Sector Licence

Search for PSL Licensees

Does the Member Licence apply to OS OpenData?

No - provided that no Licenced Data is used and you have linked to the OS OpenData acknowledgment.

The Member Licence only applies to your use of Licenced Data (which includes data that you create (derive) from data provided by OS) and not OS OpenData products. This is because OS OpenData is not defined as Licensed Data

OS OpenData products uses the Open Government Licence (OGL) terms. This permits the use and re-use of a wide range of government and other public sector information. This supports the government's policy on transparency and open data. For example, it:

  • permits use and re-use of information in any format for both commercial and non-commercial purposes without charge 
  • excludes personal information from the licence
  • is compatible with other licensing models, such as Creative Commons, and is Open Definition conformant.

Get access to OS OpenData products.

Does OS have any other licences available?

Yes

We want you to get the most from our data, including the commercialisation of services. You can work with us and our products in many different ways.

In addition to your Member Licence, we have a number of other licences and agreements available that can let you use Licenced Data in other ways, including making money, in ways that best suits your needs and budget.

We regularly update our licences and agreements to cover new ways of using geographic data, and to make your relationship with us as simple and rewarding as possible.

For more information on our other licences

Welsh Language Act obligations

As a public body, under the Welsh Language Act 1993, OS have to provide a Welsh language scheme setting out how we will provide services in Welsh.

Although the licences themselves are not in Welsh, to support your use of the required acknowledgements we have provided the appropriate translation where necessary in that section of this guidance.

Jargon

OS and intellectual property, copyright & database rights

Ordnance Survey Limited (OS) has a a licence granted by the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office known as a Crown Rights Agreement.

This agreement sets out the provisions for the ownership and licensing of the copyright and database rights which subsist in OS mapping and geospatial data.

This means our data and our brand are protected by a variety of intellectual property rights (including copyright, database rights and trade marks), and our primary income comes from licensing these IP rights to Government, public sector organisations, commercial businesses and consumers.

For more information about the position of OS and Crown copyright.

The licensing of Crown copyright and database rights information is also regulated through our accreditation under the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS).

At what point does IP rights cease in OS data?

Providing the OS data is still in date as far as copyright and database rights are concerned, they will always exist. Neither is OS in a position to waive those rights where we have been granted the right to use, licence and manage the data on behalf of the Crown. Understand how we protect OS map data.

That means that we are able to grant licences and whether we make a charge (a royalty fee) for the use of that data, including the creation of derived data by licensees.

As part of our remit under our public task, as we are obliged to be self-funding, we operate a licensing model that includes making OS products available free at the point of use through OS OpenData (on OGL licence terms) and through standard, chargeable, licensing terms which includes the public sector agreements.

Can you explain some of the terms used in the licences?

To learn more about some terms used, please see our licensing jargon page.

Important note: these are not the formal definitions as those are contained in the Member Licences and are the ones you should refer to when necessary.

 

Documents

Agreement documents

The PSMA relates to the supply and licensing of mapping data to the public sector in England and Wales.

PSMA Agreement (.pdf Feb 2017)

The OSMA relates to the supply and licensing of mapping data to the public sector in Scotland.

OSMA Agreement (.pdf Aug 2014)

Notes:

  • These documents are published to help you understand the fundamentals of the agreements and the interaction with the Member Licences.
  • The date shown is the last variation date of each Agreement.
  • The terms of the Member Licence and the subsidiary licences can be varied separately from the Agreement. See below for the current terms. 
Member Licence

The Member Licence sets out the terms of what you, as a public sector member organisation, can and can't do with the Licensed Data available through your agreement. 

Please note that the Member Licence does not apply to OS OpenData products.

OSMA Member Licence (.docx April 2015)*

PSMA Member Licence (.docx Feb 2017)*

* Although you cannot amend this document directly, you are able to copy the text into a new document.

The date shown is the last variation date of the Member Licence

Contractor Licence

The Member Licence allows you to use contractors to help you.

Note: in some cases (for example, where you have a formal agreement with a 3rd party to provide you with services) they will be subject to the same terms and liabilities as you. 

To help protect you, we have created a licence that includes all the relevant terms. You can either use this, or you can incorporate the relevant clauses into your own bespoke version. For more information, see the Working with contractors section.

Form field version

This version is for those members who still want to use real signatures.

Although you can type (& save) information into the relevant sections before printing, you cannot edit the rest of the document. Nitether can you add electronic or scanned signatures into it. 

PSMA Contractor Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

OSMA Contractor Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

Read only version

This version can be used in all other circumstances, as it allows you to copy the required terms and conditions to put into your own document / email. 

PSMA Contractor Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

OSMA Contractor Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

The date shown is the last variation date of the Contractor Licence

Public sector viewing terms

When you are making your Licensed Data publicly available for viewing (for example on your web site) as part of your Core Business, the user needs to be made aware that there are some Terms and Conditions associated with their access and use.

You can use the link below if you are not incorporating the public sector viewing terms into your own 'terms and conditions' page.

This is in addition to you:

Public sector viewing terms (.html Feb 2017) 

INSPIRE End User Licence

The Member Licence allows you to release your own data (but not OS source data) in order to meet your own specific INSPIRE obligations, including through the provision of Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS).

If the purpose you are releasing your data for goes beyond these obligations and or you want to include OS source data, the licence to use is this End User Licence

You need to be aware that the INSPIRE End User Licence contains restrictions of use in that it:

  • only permits the recipient to use your data for any of their “own personal, non-commercial use”, and
  • places the responsibility for the appropriate use of the data onto the recipient (the End User) and not you.

Note: This licence is drafted based on ‘deemed’ (or ‘click’) acceptance, so unlike the ordinary End User Licence, it does not require the member to retain details of the end user. 

For more information on its use, see the ‘INSPIRE publishing’ section.

‘Read only’ version

This version allows you to save as a new file that you incorporate as ‘read-me’ file when supplying data.

INSPIRE End User Licence (.docx)

‘Web page’ version

You can either use this version directly via a ‘hyperlink’, or 'copy and past' into a new document / web page of yours.

INSPIRE End User Licence (.html)

End User Licence

The Member Licence allows you to pass OS Licenced Data (which includes your derived data) to anyone who supports, or interacts with you in the delivery of your Core Business.

This End User Licence should be used when publishing your information for others to download as data, or where you are sharing information with a third party that goes beyond your INSPIRE-related activity.

This licence doesn’t have the same obligations as the Contractor Licence, as the onus is on the recipient to honour the terms.

This also means it can be used with individuals, voluntary and community groups or other similar bodies who require (or you wish to provide) data to where you don’t have to have any formal arrangements in place,. 

For more information on its use and what (if any) records need to be kept when:

Note: Acceptance of the terms is based on you using a ‘click to accept’ method; however, it is acknowledged that this is not always appropriate.

This means that, despite the words of paragraph 7.3 of Appendix 1 - Licensed Use in the Member Licence; OS, BEIS and Scottish Government have respectively agreed that this EUL can be entered into using a hard copy form.

To help protect you, we have created an End User Licence that includes all the relevant terms. You can use this, or you can incorporate all the relevant clauses into your own bespoke version.

Note: Although this guidance refers to the End User Licence, to avoid any confusion by the recipient, the licence itself is still called the Public Sector End User Licence.

'Read only' version 

This version allows you to just save as a file that you can incorporate with other 'read-me' information when supplying data.

Public Sector End User Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

'Form field' version

This version enables you copy the relevant clauses into your own document / web page to use in an environment where 'click to accept' is not appropriate. 

Public Sector End User Licence (.docx Apr 2015)

Web page version 

This version enables you to use it directly via a ‘hyperlink’. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the text into your own document / web page.

Pubic Sector End User Licence (.html Apr 2015)

Public Sector Innovation Licence

You use this licence when you are providing your own Licensed Data (derived data) to 3rd parties for them to to research and develop ideas and propositions and to see what potential benefits and value using that data can bring.

You are not allowed to supply the third party with any other OS Licensed Data under this licence. 

This licence is solely for the purposes of:

  • developing, evaluating and testing your data as part of the 3rd party's own products and/or services, and demonstrating those products and/or services to others, and/or 
  • using the Innovation Data (for the purpose of evaluating it) as a business tool for the ordinary internal day to day activities involved in the administration and running of their business or organisation.
This licence does not allow the 3rd party to: 
  • pass any of the Innovation Data to any other 3rd party not directly involved in the development, evaluation, testing or demonstrationof such products and/or services; or
  • use the Innovation Data to recreate any of OS’s products, any part of such products or any similar or substantially equivalent products; or
  • commercially exploit, sell, license or distribute the Innovation Data or any products or services incorporating the Innovation Data. 

'Read only' version 

This version allows you to just save as a file that you can incorporate with other 'read-me' information when supplying data.

Public Sector Innovation Licence (.docx Feb 2017)

'Form field' version

This version enables you copy the relevant clauses into your own document / web page to use in an environment where 'click to accept' is not appropriate. 

Public Sector Innovation Licence (.docx Feb 2017)

Note: Both you and the third party need to keep records in respect of the use of this licence and provide OS with that information upon request.

Royal Mail's Postal Address File (PAF) licences

All our addressing products contain Royal Mail's Postcode Address File (PAF®). 

As a Royal Mail Solutions Provider, we have to pass on their terms of use when we supply any of our addressing products. These terms are set out in Appendix 3 of the Member Licence.

Since 1 April 2014, BEIS and Scottish Government, have had agreements in place with Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, for centrally paid PAF® Public Sector Licences (PAF PSL) to cover use of the Postcode Address File (PAF) in the delivery of public service activity for PSMA/OSMA members.

Here are Royal Mail’s PAF PSL Terms of Use (.pdf)

When new members apply for either of the agreements, the applicant has the opportunity to 'Opt in/out' of the PAF PSL.

For those applicants who confirm that they are ‘opting out', it means that member's use is not covered by the central arrangements or the PAF PSL terms. Instead, the 'Opted Out' member will be responsible for paying the relevant PAF fees. The terms and licence fees contained in Appendix 3 of their Member Licence (.docx) will continue to apply. 

For more information on the two arrangements, you can also go to Royal Mail's PAF PSL Licensing Centre for guidance, contact them via email, or call their dedicated PSL helpline: 0845 6066854 (option 2). They are available Monday to Friday 08:30 to 17:00.

OS OpenData licence

OS OpenData products are licenced under the Open Government Licence (OGL) which permits the use and re-use of a wide range of government and other public sector information. This supports the government's policy on transparency and open data, and:

  • permits the use and re-use of information in any format for both commercial and non-commercial purposes without charge
  • requires re-users to publish an acknowledgment of the source of the information, which for us is: "Contains OS data © Crown Copyright [and database right] [year]".
  • excludes personal information from the licence
  • is compatible with other licensing models, such as Creative Commons. It is also Open Definition conformant.

Get access to OS OpenData products

Note: Although there is a facility to access OS OpenData products through the members area, the Member Licence does not apply to their use, as they are not defined as Licensed Data.

 

Myth busting

We aren't allowed to make a charge to cover our costs?

That isn't true.

When you are using Licensed Data, the Member Licence doesn't stop you from being able to recover your costs (for example, the costs of creating and printing a publication), should you want to.

You can also apply any charges that you are expressly permitted to make under the relevent legislative authority that you are subject to (i.e. any of the nations within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

What you can't do is make any financial gain from any of the activities covered by the Member Licence.

If you wish to exploit our Licensed Data (including any data that you’ve created) commercially, we have a number of other licences available that should meet your need. For more information and help in finding the right licence, please visit our licence selector.

We can charge for data that is available on open data terms?

It depends on what is being included!

As a reminder, The National Archives guidance on use of the OGL state that there should be no licensing fees or charges applied to recipients for any individual dataset/s they obtain under the OGL. 

Note: this includes OS OpenData products, and those where you have obtained a derived data exemption for your derived data.

Information providers may not impose a charge for the subsequent re-use of the information. The only caveat to this is where they are exploiting that information commercially for example, by combining it with other information, or by including it in your own product or application.

This means there should always be a version of an open dataset available on OGL terms. It is also assumed that no charges will be levied by an organisation or individual wishing to maintain any data covered by the OGL.

However, information providers may charge a fee for supplying information. Examples where charging for supply would be permitted include:

  • providing a copy of a photograph in a higher resolution
  • providing large quantities of data by means of a CD-ROM

Furthermore it is assumed that under open government licence terms, no charge will be made for information published electronically (e.g. via a website or portal).

Further guidance on Government's Licensing Framework and the Open Government Licence can be found at the following links;

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/information-management/uk-government-licensing-framework.pdf

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/re-using-public-sector-information/licensing-for-re-use/what-ogl-covers/

 

We have to use an End User Licence when providing a paper map

That is not true.

All you need to do is make it clear to any recipient that the map you provided is in support of your Core Business and that you have the authority to provide the information (including any third-party permission).

This means the document needs to:

  • include its purpose (that is, why you have produced it)
  • have your business information included (as appropriate)
  • only cover an area that is sufficient to meet the need (for example, if the information only relates to a single property how far away does the other information need to extend to still be relevant (street, locality, town and so on).
  • similarly, be at the appropriate scale to meet the need (for example, what is your target audience? Are you just providing a general overview or a more detailed insight to the plans?)
  • include your branding and all other appropriate trademarks and acknowledgements.

For example, all of this could be incorporated into a 'template’ format that contains the necessary information. Understand what you need to include on paper mapping.

We can't publish a map in a newspaper

That is not true.

There are no issues if you are publishing a map in a newspaper that you manage.

Like other documents you print, all you need to do is make it clear to any recipient that the map being provided by you is in support of your core business and you have the authority to provide the information (including any third-party permission). No End User Licence is required (see above).

If you are publishing data in a newspaper that you don't manage, then you need to ask them if they have an OS Media Licence (it's free for them). 

Please note: if you ask, or have been asked by, a third party to publish your information in a newspaper, then they will need to have the appropriate licence from OS to cover that activity. For more information on our other licences.

I can't create a commercial application that exploits OS data

That is not true – you can.

However, you can't do it under your public sector licence.

The reason is that the public sector member licences are there to support your non-commercial public sector activities.

If you wish to commercially exploit your data, OS has a number of other licences available that should meet your need.