Ohio Court: Geodata Intertwined with Proprietary Software Falls Outside Open Records Law
by Dennis Whalen, CNO, March 7, 2013
The Supreme Court of Ohio today denied a writ of mandamus sought by Portsmouth real estate appraiser Robert Gambill to compel the production of certain public records by Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman.In a 6-1 per curiam opinion, the court held that Opperman met the requirements of the Ohio Public Records Act by offering to provide Gambill with a copy of the county’s electronic database containing deed information and aerial photos of all property in the county if Gambill paid the estimated $2,000 cost of separating that data from proprietary mapmaking software protected by U.S. patent laws that is “inextricably intertwined” with the data on the engineer’s computer.
For full text of the article, visit Supreme Court Rules County Engineer’s Response Met Requirements of Public Records Act.
See also High Court Rules in Favor of County (Portsmouth Daily Times), Ohio Court: Geodata Intertwined with Copyright-protected Software Falls Outside Open Records Law (Directions Magazine).
Sierra Club loses on appeal in case for access to Orange County database (Directions Magazine 2011)
The WireData Case and Implications for Geospatial Data (WI State Cartographer’s Office 2008)
Tags: #opendata, Aerial Imagery, Copyright, Database, electronic database, FOI, FOIA, Freedom of Information, Gambill, Geographic Information Systtems, GIS, Land Parcels, Land Records, Mandamus, Mapmaking, Maps, Ohio, Ohio Supreme Court, Open Government, Open Records, OpenGov, Opperman, Parcels, Patent, photos, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Daily Times, Property, Proprietary software, Public Records, R.C. 149.43, RC 149.43, Robert Gambill, Scioto County Ohio, Scoioto County, Sierra Club, Spatial, Supreme Court of Ohio, surveying, United States, WSAZ-TV
Lea Shanley is the Founder and former Director of the Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is currently serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA and GSA's 18F innovation team on crowdsourcing and citizen science.
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