Copyrights on UK Rights of Way (RoW) data question

Isn’t the only issue getting permission from the local authority to use the data?

Background, what I found out so far:

Some (if not most) RoW data on OSM seems dervied from old ‘out of copyright’ Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.
This certainly is the case for the Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (Bucks) area.
Obviously this RoW data can be more than 50 years out of date.

Walking around with a GPS cannot resolve the data issue (completely) as not all paths are actually signposted on the ground.
Not getting chased away by a farmer (and their dog+gun) isn’t sufficient an indiator of an existing RoW.
The few farmers I have spoken about this weren’t even aware of all potentially existing RoWs on their lands.
All a bit strange to me as I would expect this also to be part of the ‘deeds’.

Thus the ONLY reliable LEGAL source is the ‘definitive map’ and ‘definitive statement’ (DM+DS) as maintained by the local councils. And even these sources, by their own admission don’t record all RoWs.
(Let’s hope they do by 2020 or else the non-recorded RoWs may become legally void)
So there is certainly an interest for all regular walkers (and even cyclists) to get this right.

All councils have to make their DM+DS available for public inspection at Council and Parish offices.
For Bucks I found the 2008 DM. The Council also needs to keep registers of all requests for and acceptance/rejections of changes. The Bucks council’s RoW officer kindly invited me to inspect the most up to date ‘working copy’ at their offices, if need arises, and also referred me to
for the registers of recent changes.

Bucks can provide a copy of any 1:10000 tile of the working copy of the DM for ‘only’ £72.00, for which you would get a DM of about 1 sqm size. And the records office allows me to make a photograph of the 2008 version for only £5.00 at the Bucks records office (part of the library services).
However, personal inspection in the office and ‘retrieving’ the data from the maps would be free.
So going down there with a laptop and OSM maps is an option.

Although access to the data is free, there may be ‘copyright issues’!
Hampshire (Hants) makes the definitive map available online, and states on their website:

Can I print the maps?
It is permitted to print these maps for your own personal use but not for wider distribution or any commercial purposes.

The limits and extent of OS copyright on RoW data?
Ordnance Survey doesn’t claim copyright for the Rights of Way (RoW) data, but of course does for the maps on which this data is ‘stored’)
But ‘strategically’ here they only mention the ‘definitive statement’ and not ‘definitive map’

The Definitive statement in itself does NOT contain (descriptions or) data sufficient to map a path on your own maps (e.g. OSM maps)
Councils ‘store’ part (if not most of) their RoW daya on the ‘definitive map’

The ONLY way a member of the public can access the data is by inspecting these maps and retrieving the ‘stored data’, for example reproducing as lines on their own map.

Indeed the document
“Access to Public Rights of Way Information in England and Wales”
available at
states in the Introduction paragraph

The PRoW information is usually held in descriptive textual records and on maps. The local authority owns the intellectual property rights of these textual records together with those that it has indicated on the Definitive Map.

In plain English, although the OS may own the map, the council owns the lines indicating the paths.

In my view that leaves us asking the council(s) for use of this data.
If and when granted we can lift it from whatver medium they store it on in their records offices

Not sure why this has popped up again on the “Latest” view after 13 years, but anyway: