An interesting issue is unfolding in Canada and quite frankly its darned amazing! This coming from the owner of the website geocoder.ca who has been named as a defendant in a an ongoing legal action from Canada Post (aka. The Government of Canada) – personally, I find personally that in these times of hype and smoke blowing about Open Government and OpenData and related matters its downright disgusting! The story unfolds like this – the Government is laying claim to ownership and rights etc… to the term “Postal Code” and since this poor dude at geocoder.ca has an e-commerce website that serves up a map where users can search a region by Postal Code. In a blog post the “Defendant” added the following comments, “They even extended their claim to other websites I own, namely foodpages.ca, to seize any profits this website makes by having people type various location entities (address, intersection, city, postal code) to find a nearby restaurant. Perhaps in their ideal world, these profits belong to them because of the ‘postal code’ option.” He then goes on… “Seeing no end to this madness I am taking the following preemptive action. I am renaming the ‘postal code’ to ‘zip code’ on every website, blog, application or other publication I write.” For more on this matter check out the blog post which is humorously titled K2C 1N5. Heck, perhaps its now time for Canada to switch over to the Canadian developed Natural Area Coding System
This case has also been discussed on Eaves.ca a popular resource on OpenData – Canada Post and the War on Open Data, Innovation & Common Sense (continued, sadly)
I had to laugh when a Twitter follower commented to me that perhaps Australia will follow suit or perhaps get a letter from Canada over their use of the Postal Code!