Who owns the data?

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sim.herrod
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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by sim.herrod »

smacl wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:42 am
...What we see happening quite often with our users is that the client looks for the point cloud, gets it, realizes they don't have the resources to do much with it other than look at it and then pays to have additional extraction work done.
Exactly.

'Can we have the point cloud of the job you did for us?'

'Sure, we'll send it over.'

'All we can do is view it. How do we do anything else with it?'

'Pay for a software license.'

'Well that's not really satisfactory.

'Ok...'

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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by jedfrechette »

jamesworrell wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:57 am
Then again, comparing a scan with a photo - I can’t say I see a difference. Start with the spherical image - surely this is equivalent to a normal photo with respect to copyright?

Why would therefore a scan be different? The location was chosen, the settings were chosen. The subject matter was chosen. This is how a photo is taken?.
I think it has a lot more to do with intent then methodology. If you're using a scan to create a piece of art you can almost certainly copyright that. If you're making a "digital twin" maybe not. If you read the Meshwerks case their methodology involved a lot more decisions that affected the output than you would make in the course of a scanning project. That didn't matter though because their intent was to make an exact copy of an existing object.

To give another example you can't copyright the phone book because it's just data, even though the tools and methods you might use to create it are the same as the ones you would use to write a novel, which can be copyrighted.
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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by Mike Annear »

There are other aspects to this as well.
I agree with the other comments that the deliverable, including the pointcloud, should be agreed apon in writing before the project has been started.
Quite often all the data, including the scanning process, is confidential. IE , Just the fact that something is being scanned is confidential.
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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by stutosney »

There is a simple way to solve this and protect yourself from any unnecessary come backs. Just include a small paragraph in the offer of service outlining what is intellectual property and who owns it. Get it in the signed contract. If it isn't time heavy,m I also see no issue with handing the point cloud to the client, as long as it doesn't tie you up from other billable work obviously. They have paid you to acquire that data and register it, so there is no harm in handing it to them...just make the aware that if they start 'fiddling' with it, it is their responsibility!

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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by smacl »

stutosney wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:00 am
There is a simple way to solve this and protect yourself from any unnecessary come backs. Just include a small paragraph in the offer of service outlining what is intellectual property and who owns it. Get it in the signed contract. If it isn't time heavy,m I also see no issue with handing the point cloud to the client, as long as it doesn't tie you up from other billable work obviously. They have paid you to acquire that data and register it, so there is no harm in handing it to them...just make the aware that if they start 'fiddling' with it, it is their responsibility!
One of the tools we added to SCC some years back was to create a report that listed all the delivered files with a CRC checksum so it is easy to check whether any version of those files has been modified subsequent to delivery. This report then became a delivery note signed by the customer with both parties keeping a copy.

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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by landmeterbeuckx »

Interesting answers. Besides the local laws i see it like this :

If i scan and a pointcloud is the final delivery there is of course no discussion.

If they want a plan, weather it is 2d or a bim, i "use" the scanner to make a pointcloud for me to work with.
If they want extra data they should pay for this. If they want the pointcloud they should pay a fee for it. I could measure it traditionally and with a total station no one would ask for the raw data.

The money is to be found how you do things. I once did a boundary job like 10 years ago with total station. I measured everything in 3d, made my plans and extracted the 2d for the client. A few years later same client asks if i could measure the heights for a contours. Sure i said, went to check but nothing had changed, i took the original 3d drawing, saved under a different name and sent it away, charged if i would measure everything from scratch. Same with pointclouds.

We invest in the gear, we can benefit later in cases like this.

My thoughts
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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by smacl »

landmeterbeuckx wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:13 pm
I could measure it traditionally and with a total station no one would ask for the raw data.
They would for infrastructure jobs here in Ireland, I say this having chaired a working group tasked with improving standards and consistency for survey works delivered to Dublin City Council. I've been involved in a few other big survey frameworks over the years and it is normal to look for all observation and control data and QA reports for any major works. This is particularly true where you've multiple survey companies involved in a big job and the possibility of sharing control and potential changes of site grid.

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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by landmeterbeuckx »

smacl wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:44 pm
landmeterbeuckx wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:13 pm
I could measure it traditionally and with a total station no one would ask for the raw data.
They would for infrastructure jobs here in Ireland, I say this having chaired a working group tasked with improving standards and consistency for survey works delivered to Dublin City Council. I've been involved in a few other big survey frameworks over the years and it is normal to look for all observation and control data and QA reports for any major works. This is particularly true where you've multiple survey companies involved in a big job and the possibility of sharing control and potential changes of site grid.
Indeed for certain jobs like pipeline works they would ask for the data. I never had the question asked for this data with a boundary survey or so. I must say the raw data comes in handy when years later it seems i mistyped an offset for a tree + instead of - which lead to permit problems.

When i do a staking job, i tend to make a plan of the points staked out in relation to the national grid. Saved me a lot of headaches later where nails were moved after. I send a plan with the date attached and ask for the contractor to check when he uses the nails weeks or days after, you never know.

I've seen it all unfortunately.
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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by smacl »

We've had some funny ones over the years where having the raw data saved a huge amount of work. For example, a few years ago the antennas were updated for the national GPS active network but antenna height changes weren't properly pushed out until some time later so there was a window where all nRTK data using certain reference stations and sensors had a systematic height error. Not great if you've only got your survey saved as a DXF :?

One we see regularly is that the client is looking for national grid coordinates but don't want scale factor, so you end up with a survey that appears to be in national grid but actually isn't. Then someone else tries to tie into the survey from external control and the fun starts. This is surprisingly common with terrestrially scanned topographic road jobs which are often carried out scale free and simply shifted onto national grid but not scaled. From a QA perspective, my advice to anyone purchasing surveying work is to mandate that all raw data and QA reports are included as part of the delivery. It also protects the surveyor from the situation where a client has incorrectly specified a job and then looks for more work to be done when it isn't fit for purpose.

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Re: Who owns the data?

Post by MajorDomo »

As one of the first Quantity Surveyors I worked with used to say:
If you don't have it in writing, then you don't have it at all.
In the OP's case I believe he is right in this instance, the observations are owned by him, if the client wants extra information, extra money should follow.

But it's not always the case, there are a few of us around the forum that have extremely restrictive contracts that really mean that ALL the data is owned by the client. To even be able to show it to future clients we need to secure permission, which is not always granted.
My old QS was right in the end.

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