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Old 24-08-2009, 20:55   #16
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If the free is better I also stick with the free. Who would not? If the non-free is too expensive, I go without. Why not?

I use what I believe safest for the kind of navigation I do. A plotter with a cartridge and off course a sextant and paper charts (now these ARE really expensive) work for me.

All you have to do to know what my issue with OpenCPN was is look up the newest readme file with OpenCPN release - it will be there. Briefly - we found out that when sending WPTs from the software to the GPS they seemed off the charted position. Indeed this was the case - one of the decimals of the lat&long was not transferred correctly. In our judgement the possible error was of 1.5 Nm range.

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Ah, I remember that. The routing feature was fairly new at that point. They have just added route save/restore.

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Old 27-06-2011, 07:56   #17
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by sae140 View Post
Copyright violation is copyright violation - it's certainly unlawful, but it isn't THEFT, as nothing has been stolen.

As we are talking principally about UKHO data, it's probably best to use English law as a reference, in which under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968: "a person is guilty of theft if: he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it". Which begs the question of what constitutes 'property' in this instance ?

Is the data itself 'property' ? Well, there would be a need to prove that permanent deprivation of that data has occurred. As the UKHO is capable of retaining data, and C-Map capable of retaining copies of the relevant CM93/2 folios, it would be very difficult to argue that any permanent deprivation of the data has occurred, either as 'pure' data, or in C-Map encrypted format.

Could income from the charts then be considered 'property' ? In this instance I doubt it, as C-Map no longer offer CM93/2 charts for sale, therefore there is no income from their licence to consider. Likewise it is doubtful that The Crown (who own and run the UKHO) could successfully argue a case for loss of revenue, as they would need to demonstrate that there is an income to be made from the sale of out-of-date electronic charts in a redundant format.

That's not to say that the UKHO wouldn't threaten prosecution - they are in a powerful position to do so as the British courts are also run on behalf of The Crown - but in my view such a prosecution would be a dangerous gamble for them to take, as the loss of such a case would set a damaging precedent, the potential losses from which would render the current issue utterly insignificant.
They have already won such a case in the Maltese courts
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Old 27-06-2011, 08:15   #18
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by Zabriskie View Post
They have already won such a case in the Maltese courts
Interesting. Could you tell me the names of plaintiff /accused and when this was, or give me a link in case Malta publishes its court decissions on line?

Klaas
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Old 27-06-2011, 08:31   #19
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Re: CM93 International Charts

Based on what I've seen so far, I doubt that CM93 is "primarily UKHO" data.

UKHO has a lot of charts, but nowhere near the entire world. If it did - we'd have a fairly reasonably priced world-wide chart product to offer (UKHO licensing prices are amazingly reasonable).
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Old 27-06-2011, 08:35   #20
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by Zoef View Post
Interesting. Could you tell me the names of plaintiff /accused and when this was, or give me a link in case Malta publishes its court decissions on line?

Klaas
Unfortunately, it's in Maltese. Insert into Google 'UKHO v NCT International Trading'.
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Old 27-06-2011, 11:13   #21
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Unfortunately, it's in Maltese. Insert into Google 'UKHO v NCT International Trading'.
Mmm. Safe the pdf as text and then use an on-line translator such as Maltese Translation.
No, first take a day off.
I'm not that interested.
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Old 28-06-2011, 03:32   #22
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Re: CM93 International Charts

I'm surprised to hear that the UKHO has prosecuted for their interests in CM93/2 charts - in general terms it appears that they have at last realised that they are fighting a losing battle, and have reduced their prices accordingly: for example, they have recently licensed a full folio of electronic charts for UK waters for just 30 (c. $45 US) - that's 400+ electronic charts for around the price of 1.4 paper charts.
http://www.visitmyharbour.com/charts-for-seaclear.asp

My guess is that it is only a matter of time before UKHO charts (or rather, their data) become free at point-of-sale.

I'd also like to read chapter and verse on the Maltese
prosecution, but I also can't be arsed to translate from a minority language.
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:19   #23
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Re: CM93 International Charts

I have been prohibited from editing my own post.

So this is the edited version:

I'm surprised to hear that the UKHO has prosecuted for their interests in CM93/2 charts - in general terms it appears that they have at last realised that they are fighting a losing battle, and have reduced their prices accordingly: for example, they have recently licensed a full folio of electronic charts for UK waters for just 30 (c. $45 US) - that's 400+ electronic charts for around the price of 1.4 paper charts.
http://www.visitmyharbour.com/charts-for-seaclear.asp

My guess is that it is only a matter of time before UKHO charts (or rather, their data) become free at point-of-sale.

Ok - a translated version of the Maltese prosecution can indeed be viewed on Google. The prosecution was for violation of copyright, and not theft.

It appears that NaviCharts.com have been a major player in the vector charts business, and have been knocking out CM93/2 copies at 300 a go for well over a decade (when C-Map cost 4,000) - so the UKHO went for a big fish in a minor country ...

I can't help feeling that this action was a bit pointless - punitive maybe, but it hasn't acted as a deterrent (why would it ? - no-one has heard of the case until now ...), and there are thousands of copies of CM93/2 (and /3) floating around the web, updated to 2011.
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Old 28-06-2011, 08:26   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sae140
I have been prohibited from editing my own post.

So this is the edited version:

I'm surprised to hear that the UKHO has prosecuted for their interests in CM93/2 charts - in general terms it appears that they have at last realised that they are fighting a losing battle, and have reduced their prices accordingly: for example, they have recently licensed a full folio of electronic charts for UK waters for just 30 (c. $45 US) - that's 400+ electronic charts for around the price of 1.4 paper charts.
http://www.visitmyharbour.com/charts-for-seaclear.asp

My guess is that it is only a matter of time before UKHO charts (or rather, their data) become free at point-of-sale.

Ok - a translated version of the Maltese prosecution can indeed be viewed on Google. The prosecution was for violation of copyright, and not theft.

It appears that NaviCharts.com have been a major player in the vector charts business, and have been knocking out CM93/2 copies at 300 a go for well over a decade (when C-Map cost 4,000) - so the UKHO went for a big fish in a minor country ...

I can't help feeling that this action was a bit pointless - punitive maybe, but it hasn't acted as a deterrent (why would it ? - no-one has heard of the case until now ...), and there are thousands of copies of CM93/2 (and /3) floating around the web, updated to 2011.
On the one hand the above poster states that the (illegal) Navichart product has been a 'major player in the market' but then sees the legal action by the UKHO as pointless.
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Old 28-06-2011, 08:34   #25
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by sae140 View Post
I have been prohibited from editing my own post.
Point of reference; After the first 15 minutes (I think that is the current setting) EVERYONE is prohibited from editing their post.

The threads would soon loose their continuity if poster could go in, at any time, even days later, and edit their words. Because what follows is based on what was said at the time, not unlike in an oral conversation.

You may always of course submit additional information or offer up a refutation.

If you make a post and later regret it you may contact a mod and request a review. If it will not disturb the sense of the thread we usually are happy make the changes.

But in general it's best to just post again.

; -)
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Old 28-06-2011, 18:01   #26
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by Zoef View Post
Interesting. Could you tell me the names of plaintiff /accused and when this was, or give me a link in case Malta publishes its court decissions on line?

Klaas

mybe yo allready sow it but any way there it is

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/d...2009-09-21.pdf

UKHO spend 10 years and 105k and it is not yet finished
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Old 29-06-2011, 02:43   #27
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Re: CM93 International Charts

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Originally Posted by Zabriskie View Post
On the one hand the above poster states that the (illegal) Navichart product has been a 'major player in the market' but then sees the legal action by the UKHO as pointless.
Yes - completely pointless ...

The whole point of Copyright Protection is financial protection, and it works by the threatening of legal action against potential violators.

The facts in this case (most of which have been obtained from the Office of Public Sector Information) are:
Early 2002 - UKHO detected a violation by NCT International, and a 'cease and desist' notice was issued by them in June of that year, to which the UKHO was given 'the finger', after which legal action commenced.
May 2003 - Maltese court issued injunction.
Jan 2004 - hearing called regarding damages.
Meanwhile the company NCT International had moved house twice, eventually to Germany - where they continued to trade under the name 'DigiSoft'.
Sept 2008 - Maltese court ruled in UKHO's favour - 6 years later - and damages of 60,000 Euros were awarded, although the seized assets of NCT International were "far less than this" (amount not disclosed - why ? - maybe insignificant ?).
BUT - it cost UKHO 105,000 (GBP) to bring the action (around 120,000 Euros).

Dec 2010 - NCT International appeal against the Maltese decision, which is upheld (the decision, not the appeal).

Currently, the UKHO is pursuing NCT International (now Digisoft) through the German Courts - however, in the UKHO's own words "German law involves a far more difficult test to establish copyright".

So far this debacle has effectively cost the British taxpayer well over 60,000, and the company in question has continued to trade thoughout this period.

So - does Copyright Protection work ? Well, form your own judgement ... I already have.

I repeat - this has been a pointless exercise, for nothing has been gained (which is the whole point of the exercise).

So now we know why no-one had heard of the Maltese Prosecution (until now, that is) - because in terms of the effectiveness of copyright protection, it's nothing short of an embarrassment ....
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Old 29-06-2011, 07:50   #28
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Re: CM93 International Charts

G'Day SAE,

Very interesting report! Seems like another case where the only winners are the lawyers, certainly not the Pommie taxpayers.

So, I was wondering if anyone knows just how much revenue is generated for the UK by their selling rights to this sort of intellectual property? Is their reluctance to follow the US and others in giving away the data really fiscally based or is it just sticking blindly to rules established back in the days when the only means of exchanging such data was with expensive paper charts or other publications?

If, as I suspect, the revenue is inconsequential, they should consider rethinking this policy. A revenue stream that generates less income than its costs (direct and indirect) is only good for maintaining a bureaucracy, not for the country.

Cheers,

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Old 29-06-2011, 08:27   #29
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Re: CM93 International Charts

One thing I don't get are the people who state on one hand that the safety of the ship is ultimately up to the captain, yet say that they don't trust Free / Libre Open Source Software. They put all their trust into an application developed by someone else - and when there's a problem with that application, all they can do is complain to the vendor. With proprietary software, all the control is in the hands of the vendor. You, as the consumer, have no control whatsoever and must rely on the whims of the vendor for any updates, fixes, etc. Even if you're a programming god - you don't have the source code so you can't fix any problems you find.

With open source, the consumer - like a ship captain, can take control if they want to take on that responsibility. You find a bug in the software - you can fix it yourself if you have the acumen. If you don't, and the author doesn't respond to your request, you can hire a programmer if you want to fix the bug for you. Try something like that with software from Microsoft, Apple, or Oracle.

I've been a longtime user of Maptech's Chart Navigator Pro and Rose Point's Coastal Explorer (the former is essentially the same as the latter). I like the program - but it still has bugs and quirks. I let the vendor know about them, but they fix them (if ever) on their own schedule, not mine.

So now, I'm playing with OpenCPN. I've downloaded the binary, and it works pretty well. But there are quirks. But I've also downloaded the source code, because I want to try and add some features I'd like. The plug-in facility is a god send. Now, I'm no programming god by a long shot - it's been almost 20 years since I've done any serious coding. But I view it as an opportunity to brush up on my skills.

As far as the hydrographic data - that's another subject. We, as citizens, pay our taxes. And I think it's criminal that certain private entities can enter into dubious contracts with government agencies which grant them exclusive rights to survey data which the taxpayers already paid for.

Another example of this type of hypocrisy is here in the US: All you US boaters should remember the legislation introduced a few years back by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (now a presidential candidate), which would have prohibited NOAA from distributing its taxpayer-funded weather forecast data for free on the Internet. Accuweather.com and the Weather Channel sponsored that little piece of legislation so that they could have virtually exclusive access to weather forecast data in the US.

And as others have pointed out: CM93 is a data format - that's what's copyrighted. The vast majority of data itself is public. The only copyrightable data are fixes and enhancements which C-Map corrected or added themselves. One nice thing about the S-57 format (ENCs) is that they are essentially XML files. If you know what you're doing, you can modify/fix any errors you find. You, the consumer, are back in control if you want to be.
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Old 29-06-2011, 11:55   #30
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Re: CM93 International Charts

Not to argue with the rest of it but S-57 is most certainly *not* XML files. It would be nice if they were (though then parsing them would be a lot slower).
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