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Old 06-12-2022, 02:38   #1
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Free European nautical charts?

Many countries of the EU produce nautical charts in unencrypted S-57 format for their own services (SAR, Army, Maritime Offices, etc.) and for Regional ENC Coordinating Centre (Primar, IC-ENC) which sell them to anyone in encrypted S-63 format. And yet the original S-57 cells are prepared by public services - the State Hydrographic Offices or similar services (for which we pay taxes, after all). These maps are fully usable (and can be used directly e.g. in OpenCPN).

In my opinion, these maps should be available for free download for everyone, after all, they have already been prepared with public money (citizens money) and making them available to anyone willing will only improve the safety of navigation. Exactly the same as it does American NOAA: NOAA ENC S-57

IMHO there are legal grounds for this. In the EU, there is a Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information which should have been transposed into national law to 17 July 2021

In Poland, I contacted to HOPN/BHMW (which acts as the national hydrographic office), but unfortunately they do not want to share this data. I am (since July 2021) in the course of the legal process (application - negative decision, appeal - negative decision, complaint to the court of first instance - negative judgment, complaint to the court of second instance ...), but I will probably wait a year or more for the hearing . Poland is a specific country…

If you would like to try to access up-to-date ENC maps in your country - I strongly encourage you, and I can also show my arguments in the dispute with HOPN, as well as their counterarguments.

The same applies to other navigtional aids: lists of lights, sailing directions etc (even images of paper maps!).

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Old 06-12-2022, 03:12   #2
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

Most European countries protect their charts by copyright. The argument if tax supported the resultsofvthevprocrss should be free dorsxnot carry any weight in Europe
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Old 06-12-2022, 03:56   #3
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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Most European countries protect their charts by copyright. The argument if tax supported the resultsofvthevprocrss should be free dorsxnot carry any weight in Europe
That may be the case but it should carry weight nevertheless.
Especially as it's safety related.
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Old 06-12-2022, 04:25   #4
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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That may be the case but it should carry weight nevertheless.
Especially as it's safety related.


Not really the truth is electronic charts are widely available and cheap. I bought rod Henkel new pilot and imray threw in electronic charts for most of med

Given navionics imtay digital products it’s cheap to acquire a very large portfolio of charts these days.

There’s no need to carry around huge lumps of paper
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:03   #5
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

Of course, I have no knowledge of the legislation in force, for example in Greece, but, for example, in Poland, copyright law clearly states that "Art. 4. The following are not subject to copyright: 2) official documents, materials, signs and symbols;"

The directive also clearly states:
(21) This Directive should apply to documents the supply of which forms part of the public tasks of the public sector bodies concerned, as defined by law or by other binding rules in the Member States. In the absence of such rules the public tasks should be defined in accordance with common administrative practice in the Member States, provided that the scope of the public tasks is transparent and subject to review. The public tasks could be defined generally or on a case-by-case basis for individual public sector bodies.

and the only exception is
(54) The intellectual property rights of third parties are not affected by this Directive. For the avoidance of doubt, the term ‘intellectual property rights’ refers to copyright and related rights only, including sui generis forms of protection. This Directive does not apply to documents covered by industrial property rights, such as patents and registered designs and trade marks. The Directive neither affects the existence or ownership of intellectual property rights of public sector bodies, nor does it limit the exercise of these rights in any way beyond the boundaries set by this Directive. The obligations imposed in accordance with this Directive should apply only insofar as they are compatible with international agreements on the protection of intellectual property rights, in particular the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention), the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Public sector bodies should, however, exercise their copyright in a way that facilitates re-use.

Moreover:
1. "Personal copyright" (who is an author of works) is not a problem (probably belongs to the hydrographic office or a specific hydrographer who measured, checked, and saved in a file).
2. "The author's economic rights" belongs to the country - i.e. to all inhabitants (including sailors)
3. The navigation chart in S-57 format is not a "creativity work". Just like a pedestrian crossing painted on the roadway, or a telephone book, or a inventory (stocktaking) sheet is not a "creativity work". It is just a list of objects (points, lines, fields) with their strictly defined properties, prepared in a strictly defined format. For example: a lighthouse has coordinates, characteristics, light height, light range, shape description...
If you pay an employee to take a inventory in your store, does he own the copyright to the inventory sheet? And if you commissioned a company to make a table with all the lighthouses, buoys, depths, contours, etc., does it have copyright? And if you pay for painting the apartment, the painter has the copyright to walls your apartment? This is mechanical work, there is no creativity in it. As with ENC S-57 "charts".
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Old 06-12-2022, 08:18   #6
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

It matters not firstly digital charts are widely abd cheaply available from several sources.

Secondly tbd carrying of paper isn’t required
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Old 06-12-2022, 08:51   #7
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

If you think they are cheaply available from several sources - I'm not forcing you to use the free ones - feel free to pay. But I will venture to say that NOAA charts are cheaper after all... I am only looking for people interested in changing the current state, if this state suits you - no problem.

In my opinion: "cheap" - it depends: for who (earnings), how often he sails, where he sails, etc. What is cheap for you - may be expensive for someone else.

By the way, can you tell me where I can cheaply buy vector maps of the coasts of Lithuania and Latvia from multiple sources (at least 2) working in OpenCPN?
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:36   #8
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Not really the truth is electronic charts are widely available and cheap.
...
There’s no need to carry around huge lumps of paper
Without getting into which of the two is more up-to-date, 3rd party electronic charts are generally treated as adjuncts to official charts. Apart from what deals O-charts has negotiated for "unofficial official copies", the cost of official charts is quite high. If "doing things right" means having somewhere a current official chart, this creates a significant cost barrier to the non-wealthy.

I agree there's no need to carry paper, even the UKHO is trying to get out of that business.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:44   #9
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

I am glad to see someone working on this, and wish you luck! To me there are significant safety benefits to having current charts readily available at low cost. The copy-prevention restrictions also create problems when trying to create a properly-redundant system. I think the situation is somewhat analogous to online music sales and services, and the current model is extremely backwards.

As a counter-argument, I can see smaller island nations were the primary use of the charts may be by non-taxpayers (tourists, commercial shipping, etc) and free distribution might eat into a valued source of income.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:33   #10
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Free European nautical charts?

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
I am glad to see someone working on this, and wish you luck! To me there are significant safety benefits to having current charts readily available at low cost. The copy-prevention restrictions also create problems when trying to create a properly-redundant system. I think the situation is somewhat analogous to online music sales and services, and the current model is extremely backwards.

As a counter-argument, I can see smaller island nations were the primary use of the charts may be by non-taxpayers (tourists, commercial shipping, etc) and free distribution might eat into a valued source of income.


He point I made te hydrographic chsrts in Europe is a plethora of low cost electronic chart portfolios is now widely available at very low prices and has proben very Popular as I said UKHO report paper charts sales are down 80% over the last 20 years while product Production costs and distribution have steeply risen

Hence it’s a no brainier. Paper is dead accept it and move on
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:58   #11
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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Paper is dead accept it and move on
I quite agree! I'm referring only to the electronic ones, whether official and 3rd party.
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:05   #12
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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I quite agree! I'm referring only to the electronic ones, whether official and 3rd party.


The electronic charts are official
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:09   #13
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The electronic charts are official
Yes, you are correct, but only S-63s are official (from RENC).
On the other hand, recreational boaters are not required to use the official (non-convention SOLAS yachts). Let's not talk about paper maps anymore, because here we agree: digital vector maps are the only future.

On the third hand: is it not strange that if the country (citizens) has already incurred huge costs of collecting data and saving them in the S-57 format supposedly for security, then why the last stage (distribution of this information), kosts < 1% of the total costs ( which could cost almost nothing) is not implemented? This is stupid IMHO. This is a potential waste of > 99% of the costs incurred.

The Polish hydrographic office explains that someone could be fake the map... :-)) But if the map was available on the hydrographic office's server - no one would download it from unreliable sources...
Encryption made sense when ENCs were distributed on CDs. But today a checksum or other electronic signature is enough to be sure.

Personally, I don't like the idea of making money off shipping safety. Also the idea of IHO or RENC was to improve access and "not for profit"... Let's look at the IHO convention
Quote:
II (b): To improve global coverage, availability and quality of hydrographic data, information, products and services and to facilitate access to such data, information, products and services;
Does the current way of accessing ENC data "to facilitate access" to them correspond to modern possibilities?
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Old 09-12-2022, 05:01   #14
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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Originally Posted by Wbartoszy View Post
Yes, you are correct, but only S-63s are official (from RENC).
On the other hand, recreational boaters are not required to use the official (non-convention SOLAS yachts). Let's not talk about paper maps anymore, because here we agree: digital vector maps are the only future.

On the third hand: is it not strange that if the country (citizens) has already incurred huge costs of collecting data and saving them in the S-57 format supposedly for security, then why the last stage (distribution of this information), kosts &lt; 1% of the total costs ( which could cost almost nothing) is not implemented? This is stupid IMHO. This is a potential waste of &gt; 99% of the costs incurred.

The Polish hydrographic office explains that someone could be fake the map... :-)) But if the map was available on the hydrographic office's server - no one would download it from unreliable sources...
Encryption made sense when ENCs were distributed on CDs. But today a checksum or other electronic signature is enough to be sure.

Personally, I don't like the idea of making money off shipping safety. Also the idea of IHO or RENC was to improve access and "not for profit"... Let's look at the IHO convention
Does the current way of accessing ENC data "to facilitate access" to them correspond to modern possibilities?


I think given the very small charges for digital charts. I got the whole southern Ionian imrsh free with Ron latest pilot book my navionics cheap subscription fixes me every chart of the med.

Seriously er are arguing over peanuts
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Old 09-12-2022, 05:53   #15
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Re: Free European nautical charts?

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I think given the very small charges for digital charts. I got the whole southern Ionian imrsh free with Ron latest pilot book my navionics cheap subscription fixes me every chart of the med.
I repeat:
1. I'm not telling you to use free s-57 maps, use whatever you want.
2. Where can I buy cheap electronic maps of the Lithuanian and Latvian coast working under openCPN?
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