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
Dr. Lea Shanley is the founder and former co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a vibrant community of 200 federal employees from more than 35 agencies. She is also a co-founding member of the Citizen Science Association. Dr. Shanley recently served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, where she helped to foster a culture of open innovation. Prior to this, she founded and directed the Commons Lab at the Wilson Center, served in the US Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow, and worked with local and tribal communities to develop GIS-based decision support systems for city planning, natural resource management, coastal management, and disaster response through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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