Hi. I'm John.

Sometimes I make games. Sometimes I make websites. This is my blog.

Sued by Canada Post for listing Canadian postal codes

Did you know that attempting to build a list of Canadian postal codes by region can get you sued by Canada Post?

I think most Canadians would agree that it’s fair for Canada Post to charge companies for a list of Canadian postal codes by region, since it does require actual work to organize and maintain that list. What I think most Canadians would disagree on is suing someone for building their own list from scratch, based on people submitting their address and postal code to help out. But, that’s exactly what’s happened to Geocoder.ca, an Ottawa-based mapping firm which supplies the postal codes to free and open mapping services like OpenStreetMap.

From Geocoder.ca’s release:

This is the gist of the matter: 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.

It’s been nearly 4 years since they’ve been sued and they’re finally going to see their day in court soon.

Donate to the Geocoder.ca defense fund to keep their home-grown list free.

Download the list of Canadian postal codes by region, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.