In recent weeks Ordnance Survey has held a number of discussions with Google™ UK, including a face to face meeting with a representative of the company, to discuss the terms and conditions under which users of the Google Maps UK applications programming interface (API) may overlay and display their own and third party intellectual property onto the API.
Ordnance Survey is concerned that these terms and conditions require a user to grant Google a
“perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute Your Content through the Service and as search results through Google Services”.
These terms and conditions grant Google these rights over any data or information posted onto the API by a user, including the users' own intellectual property and the intellectual property of any third party whose information they use. This includes any Crown copyright information which a user posts onto the Google Maps API. This grant of rights to Google goes beyond the terms of the user's licence with Ordnance Survey.
As a result of Ordnance Survey's representations, Google has changed the terms and conditions on two occasions within the past month. However each revised version retains the particular clause of concern. Ordnance Survey continues to work with Google to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.