Since 2004 we have crowdsourced* the generation of the “Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Database.” When you make a query to geocoder containing for example this information “1435 Prince of Wales, Ottawa, ON K2C 1N5″, we then extract the postal code “K2C 1N5″ and insert it into the database that you may download for free on this website.
Since we do not have a postal code dataset from the authority on postal code assignments, namely “Canada Post”, we derive and guess this information sometimes with pretty good accuracy results.
Now “Canada Post” has sued “Geocoder.ca” in Federal Court, asking “Geocoder.ca” to take this database down from this website, and also to “pay Canada Post” damages on lost business the later has suffered by not selling enough copies of their own postal code file (last time I checked at $5,000CAD a piece).
This brings us here. Having to face a crown corporation with deep pockets in Federal Court, over something we have created but which they believe otherwise.
Fighting for principle is expensive, and we will do it. Even against the odds, namely the foremost law firm in the country for IP litigation, hired by Canada Post to bring us down.
This is incredible, their own government taking them to court!
So many problems here:
a) I personally don’t think anybody should own data such as this
b) even if do think there could be “ownership”, it shouldn’t be by the government! When it is funded by the public’s taxes then it should be available to the public.
c) Canadian Postal is charging $5,000CAD for each copy of its postal code file!
d) geocoder.ca is being innovative in getting around stifling government control, yet instead of supporting this initiative the government fights against it!