Are They Claiming Copyright?
It doesn't say as much in this article but it seems that Royal Mail are claiming copyright over the postcodes and their association with geographical areas.
I thought that for copyright to be claimed, there had to be evidence of creative effort, of some kind, that could not be easily done by someone else acting independently.
I could churn out a UK post code listing of my own devising with not much intellectual effort and the only reason it would be of no use is that no one else would be using it. Royal Mail claim they have put lots of work into this PAF, which is true, but that work was done in the furtherance of their own business activities, not for the purpose of selling the database as a desirable creative work.
If my post code is X21 2LM, that is a simple fact, with no artistic or creative merit and it is a fact that has been forced on me and everyone else who wishes to use Royal Mail (effective monopoly) services to contact me. They should have no copyright over simple facts which they have forced onto everyone else.
Maybe the local council will start claiming copyright over street names next. After all, it took a lot of creative effort to come up with Dangleberry Avenue and many a late night head scratching session was needed to assign my house the number '37'.
(I believe this has a good comparison with the TV channel programme listings, which are also simple facts.)