Navionics and C-Map Defend Fair Access to Canadian Navigation Information

Navionics and C-Map Defend Fair Access to Canadian Navigation Information

05 August 2004Category:NavionicsC-MapFair accessCanadaNavigation Informationroyaltiesdigital charts

Safety of navigation in Canadian waters may be at risk, as Nautical Data International (NDI) is demanding exorbitant royalties on digital charts.

While most boaters don't use NDI digital charts, the company claims an exclusive relationship with the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), which forces anyone else wishing to make digital charts to obtain a license from NDI. From this dominant position, NDI demands royalties and fees on other companies' digital charts, which are some three times higher than those charged in any other country.

Navionics and C-MAP have agreements with, and pay royalties to, Hydrographic Services all over the world. Neither company uses NDI products or services, deriving navigation information instead from official CHS paper charts (which are created and updated with Canadian taxpayer dollars). For several years however, both companies have been trying to negotiate reasonable commercial terms with NDI's CEO, Mr. Mohammad Al Zaibak, who operates out of Toronto. Additionally, Navionics and C-MAP have tried to negotiate with the CHS directly. However, NDI has refused to compromise, while the CHS claims that they are unable to grant licenses independent of NDI, and have no control over NDI’s commercial terms.

Now, NDI has broken off negotiations and resorted to legal action. As a result, Navionics and C-MAP will not only refute NDI's assertions, but also challenge NDI's commercial practices via all appropriate legal channels. This challenge is essential to guaranteeing Canadian boaters' affordable access to the navigation information that their tax dollars have already paid for.

Until all legal actions are closed, Navionics and C-MAP are paying into escrow royalties on the sales of Canadian navigation information, calculated on the same terms used elsewhere in the world.

Navionics and C-MAP thank the many boaters, members of the public, of the Canadian marine industry and the political interests, who have voiced their opposition to how the NDI-CHS arrangement affects Canadians, and their support of this campaign for fair access to the public asset of navigation information.

Navionics & C-Map