It is probable that the following should be considered as "literary works" for the purposes of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988:
- Drawings, CAD drawings and site plans.
- Additional information and reports accompanying the application.
- Objectors' comments.
- Supporters' comments.
- Where there is an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, the appellant's case and other person's representation.
The owner of the copyright has the exclusive rights to copy the work, to issue copies of the work to the public and to communicate the work to the public. Unless otherwise permitted, for a planning authority to make such information available on its website without permission of the owner of the copyright (usually the author of the letter, drawings, plans etc) may constitute an infringement of the owner's copyright. Public downloading of the information may also be an infringing copyright of the work.
In order to mitigate the risks associated with infringing copyright the following actions are suggested:
- Consider including a form of words which clearly indicates that those making planning applications and comments to planning applications that the information they provide will be published on the planning authority's website.
- Utilise a "click accept" facility on the website which clearly prompts the user to view and accept or reject the terms and conditions of using the website.
- Planning authorities should consider including a clause in the terms and conditions specifically relating to copyright. An example form of words is detailed below:
" Plans, drawings and other material submitted to the local authority are protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (section 47). You may only use material which is downloaded and/or printed for consultation purposes, to compare current applications with previous schemes and to check whether developments have been completed in accordance with approved plans. Further copies must not be made without the prior permission of the copyright owner."
Ordnance Survey maps, and maps created from Ordnance Survey material are subject to Crown copyright. It is therefore recommended that the use of the mapping is limited to an allowance to view and download for private and non-commercial purposes only. It should be made clear that mapping may not be further sub-licensed, sold, demonstrated, lent, or otherwise transferred or exploited without prior written permission of Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey shall not be held liable for the map material not being fit for your purposes or applications.