Home News Law & Policy New guidelines for free use of Ordnance Survey maps in the media

New guidelines for free use of Ordnance Survey maps in the media

Here are the updated guidelines for the reproduction of Ordnance Survey maps in the media.

These allow the publication of up to 1,000 sq cms of our mapping on the editorial pages of newspapers and magazines free of charge and with a minimum of red tape.

All our maps are Crown copyright, and you will be aware from the high-profile coverage of a recent legal action that we defend our copyright with vigour. However, we want to assist the media in its work, so these special rules have been negotiated to help you and I hope you will take advantage of them.

Opportunities might include using our mapping to illustrate walks, leisure drives, or to pinpoint localities in the news or – subject to their approval – reproducing extracts of maps based on OS material produced by local authorities, government agencies or businesses to illustrate planned developments or initiatives.

The rules allowing free use are set out in detail in the Copyright 3 leaflet dated June 2002 – Click here to access a PDF file of the new edition https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/downloads/copyright/20480a4.pdf. This replaces any earlier edition of the leaflet you may have on file. Please remember that there are limits to the amount of mapping you may use free of charge, and each published extract must be accompanied by an agreed acknowledgement. However, to make life easier for you, it is now possible to apply for a free 12-month licence, so avoiding the need to contact us for a one-off licence every time you reproduce a map extract. If you do not already have a free annual licence Click here for the simple application formhttps://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/media/copyright/application%20form%20for%20annual%20(c)%20licence.doc.

In conclusion, it must emphasise that free use does not extend to the use of our mapping in advertisements, publicity fliers or any editorial publications, which are not an integral and free enclosure with an issue of a registered newspaper or regular magazine. It covers only editorial matter. Other types of use are encouraged, but require the payment of a publishing licence fee.