Hi. I'm John.

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

Tag Archives: geocoder


Canada Post Drops Suit

I was very happy to receive this in my inbox the other day. Specifically, it relates to the suit brought against Geocoder.ca by Canada Post over crowd-sourced lists of Canadian Postal codes. Here’s a copy of the email, in its entirety.

Geocoder.ca
Lawsuit Update
This is the final update on the status of Canada Post’s copyright/trademark lawsuit against Geocoder.ca, Ervin Ruci and Geolytica.

Canada Post has discontinued this lawsuit.

The terms of settlement are confidential but our agreed statement is this:

Canada Post commenced court proceedings in 2012 against Geolytica Inc. for copyright infringement in relation to Geolytica Inc.’s Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Dataset and related services offered on its website at geocoder.ca. The parties have now settled their dispute and Canada Post will discontinue the court proceedings. The postal codes returned by various geocoder interface APIs and downloadable on geocoder.ca, are estimated via a crowdsourcing process. They are not licensed by geocoder.ca from Canada Post, the entity responsible for assigning postal codes to street addresses. Geolytica continues to offer its products and services, using the postal code data it has collected via a crowdsourcing process which it created.

While it is unfortunate that it took Canada Post 4 years to come to this conclusion, this turn of events reinforces our long held position that our postal code data is crowd sourced.

As this is the last (mass) email you will receive on this topic, we thank you for your support and wish you all an “open data” future.

To read more about the history of this lawsuit, follow this link.

Regards,
Ervin Ruci, Geocoder.ca, @geolytica

P.S. All excess donations and/or other funds we have received at the conclusion of this lawsuit, will be donated to those who conducted our legal defense pro bono over the past four years of legal wrangling, with special thanks to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and RIDOUT & MAYBEE LLP.

I’m glad we can finally put that to rest. Good luck out there, geocoder.ca!

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.