Information provided to Courtel for use on courtserve.net website

Mark Goodge made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

The request was successful.

From: Mark Goodge

4 June 2011

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please could you let me know the basis on which the Department of
Justice provides court listing information to Courtel for
publication on the courtserve.net website. If you are able to
provide me with a full copy of any contract between yourselves and
Courtel that would be appreciated, but, whether it is possible or
not, I would like detailed answers to the following specific
questions:

A: Provision of data

1. Does any payment change hands for the supply of the data? If so,
does Courtel pay the MoJ for the data, or does the MoJ pay Courtel
to distribute it?

2. How is the data supplied to Courtel (eg, by email, post, via a
secure website, etc)?

3. Is the information supplied to Courtel also available to other
publishers on the same basis?

4. If so, what is the process whereby other publishers may obtain
the data?

B: Copyright of data

5. Is the data supplied to Courtel Crown Copyright?

6. If so, what licence conditions apply? In particular, is it
subject to the Open Government Licence, and, if not, what licence
is applicable?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Goodge

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From: Grant, Richard

1 July 2011


Attachment Letter to Mark Goodge.doc
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Attachment Courtel County Courts Licence Agreement.doc
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Mr Goodge,

Please find attached a letter in response to your enquiry and a copy of
the current Licence agreement with Courtel.

Richard Grant

Head of Court Business Support

Operations Division б│Civil, Family & Tribunals Directorate б│ Her
Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

Base Office - Post Point 1.16, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ

DX 152380 Westminster 8

' 0203 334 4079 [mobile number]

y [1][email address]

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
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Richard Taylor left an annotation ( 2 July 2011)

Quote-marks It appears Courtel have misread clause 3 of the contract, which states:

"The Licensee may publish the Lists on its website and distribute the Lists via its Email Express Service and CourtServe 2000 System for the benefit of, but not
exclusively, members of the legal profession, the news media and the general public."

They seem to have missed (perhaps willingly) the "not exclusively" and "the general public" elements, and claim on their website:
"Under our licensing arrangements, Crown Express service is restricted to officers of the Courts and authenticated media."

I can't see the element of the contract behind that.

I also note Courtel don't appear to be making it very clear to their customers that they are contractually obliged to provide their subscribers' details to the Ministry of Justice if asked to do so.

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Mark Goodge left an annotation ( 3 July 2011)

Quote-marks I've blogged about this at http://mark.goodge.co.uk/2011/07/the-uns... if anyone cares about my opinions!

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Matt Williams left an annotation (12 July 2011)

Quote-marks It seems to me that the word "may" in the contract is the problem:

"The Licensee may publish the Lists on its website..."

It means they don't have to publish anything at all.

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Richard Taylor left an annotation (13 September 2011)

Quote-marks http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/se...

A response to a FOI request I made to the MoJ appears to suggest that courts are still distributing their lists directly to the press - an activity at odds with "Recital C" in the contract released on this request thread.

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