Closure of Bikehike Route Database

sgcsgc Posts: 12
edited January 2010 in MTB general
Hello,
I have received legal advice that, in spite of any disclaimer on the site, there is no guarantee against possible litigation as a result of having routes assessible via my website.

As a private individual I am not prepared to expose myself to this risk (however small) and therefore have reluctantly taken the decision to close the bikehike route database.

For a start the facility to save routes to the database has been closed. In the near future I will also close the facility to search for routes in the database. In the meantime I suggest all users download their routes to their PCs.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused. I hope you can appreciate the reasons.

Simon
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Posts

  • grumstagrumsta Posts: 994
    That sucks! I really like the site and use it all the time - the database is one of the best features

    I understand your reasons but are you sure this is the only way? What is the issue, that some people 'own' certain routes from books etc?


    Could you not keep it so that people could at least access their own routes?
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Keh, you cant keep "routes" on your website?

    How on earth can someone possibly copyright/own a route so that you cant keep them on your database?

    That seems ridiculous.
  • phzphz Posts: 478
    i wonder whether its less about 'ownership' and more about possible public liability issues ?

    i can (sadly) see a situation where someone follows a route from the site and has an accident or similar and then takes the 'its the websites fault for saying this was a 'safe' route to ride' legal approach

    slainte :? rob
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    That's a real shame, it's a brilliant brilliant tool. From your post it sounds like it'll still be available for routeplanning though?
    Uncompromising extremist
  • gregsdgregsd Posts: 328
    How do other sites handle this issue? What about BikeRadar as they have downloadable routes? It's a shame as I've used your site on a few occasions.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    gregsd wrote:
    How do other sites handle this issue? What about BikeRadar as they have downloadable routes? It's a shame as I've used your site on a few occasions.

    Thats what I was thinking, theres also Bikeroute toaster that has exactly the same thing as Bikehike (but I preferded bike hike with its main window then OS window seperately).

    Also in regards to the "well its on this website so it must be safe, we'll sue you scenario" , clearly the warnings on said website would indicate that you ride at your own risk, same as when you park your car in a carpark you leave your item(s) at your own risk they can not be held liable for anyone breaking into your car etc as per the warnings mentioned.

    This is all speculation anyway, I'd be interested in to hearing the exact reason why you cant hold routes whoever has told the website owner this, if he's willing to divulge it.
  • nonnac85nonnac85 Posts: 1,608
    I think thats really harsh.
    I use the website loads to share routes with other riders in my area.
    Yes there are other websites that do similar jobs but similar to what Briggo said, the way the OS map / Google Maps windows work in Bike Hike makes it easy to use.
    Why is this problem not seeming to affect other route sharing sites?
    My Website - Trail Centre info for the UK: MTB Trail Time
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,924
    Looking at it, you can still create routes but to save them you'll have to download them to you PC/GPS device. Will chose my routes to save later but think I've got them on my PC already.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    The problem is usually "possible litigation", a court case doesn't have to have much merit to be brought to court, and then you have to deal with all of the inconvenience and potential cost, loss of earnings if you're losing work days in court, etc etc. Even if you win and get costs awarded to you, that can still take too long. A rotten situation to be in.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • joec1joec1 Posts: 494
    20p for the swearbox.... i love that site for planning my rides.... havent ever saved a route there though :(
    www.settingascene.com - MTBing in Wilts and the southwest, join up for info and ride details.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,805
    A lot of land owners are cautious about bikers and don't want to be liable. Unofficial trail builders likewise don't want liability, so don't want routes advertised. Potential is for someone to pass it onto the sites that advertise the routes. But besides the liability issues, advertising routes could result in them getting demolished by the FC etc.

    Official trails are another matter, but I'm finding these are getting tame these days as trail parks, the FC, etc, don't want to get sued either. Sad really.
  • Bah! that's a real shame to be honest, think the site is an absolute gem and has provided an invaluable tool on more than one occasion. I really hope we will still be able to keep using the route planning tool though? Albeit not able to save/look routes up on the database.
  • Not sure where that kind of legal advice has come from but it sounds wrong...if the public liability issue was a problem then people would have sued TomTom and Google as both can be used to "suggest" routes.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    deadkenny wrote:
    A lot of land owners are cautious about bikers and don't want to be liable. Unofficial trail builders likewise don't want liability, so don't want routes advertised. Potential is for someone to pass it onto the sites that advertise the routes. But besides the liability issues, advertising routes could result in them getting demolished by the FC etc.

    Official trails are another matter, but I'm finding these are getting tame these days as trail parks, the FC, etc, don't want to get sued either. Sad really.

    So best they take down google maps, mapmyride and about 1000 other sites.

    Its a stupid reason and I really dont understand how there can even be a hint of litigation just because the chap stores routes on his website.

    Hell they best take down this website, this stores routes...
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    deadkenny wrote:
    Official trails are another matter, but I'm finding these are getting tame these days as trail parks, the FC, etc, don't want to get sued either. Sad really.

    I'm not sure that's completely true, we can all think of examples where this happens but then again, the hardest red in the country (nevis red, tougher than the majority of blacks) opened only last year, Wharncliffe looks pretty high risk in places (not ridden there myself)... Lee Quarry is new too. The FC have pulled back a bit but they're still planning new developments, including a new northshore section at glentress, etc. The tamest trails in the UK are generally the older ones.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • sgcsgc Posts: 12
    The route planner side of the site will continue, it's just the route database that will close down.

    Briggo - it is a stupid reason but, unfortunately, that is the world we now live in.

    Simon
  • sgc, I think you should post the reasoning behind this on here as from a legal perspective this sounds completely wrong. If it were the case regarding personal litigation then TomTom as an example would have been sued by now for people following their routes and ending up on the edge of a cliff.
    Are you sure this isn't just a case of lack of money/enthusiam to carry on your website and you're playing the legal card? Sorry to be so blunt, but people will start making assumptions and from a legal perspective I can see no reason to close your site for litigation issues.
  • M1llh0useM1llh0use Posts: 863
    so are there any other online resources that you can recommend for storage/sharing? everytime i create a route through bikely it takes an aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage to save any routes.... :roll: :roll: :roll:
    {insert smartarse comment here}
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,805
    Just to say from personal experience, it's not just the legal aspect. Hold a database like this and you may get land owners and/or trail builders requesting the data removed.

    The problem is just like everything else in this country, too much caution. Though I can understand individual concerns.

    As for other sites, their time will come. Once the owners and/or lawyers get onto them, they'll be issuing take-downs. I've had a few polite requests for removal as is just for sharing on Nokia Sports Tracker.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    sgc wrote:
    The route planner side of the site will continue, it's just the route database that will close down.

    Briggo - it is a stupid reason but, unfortunately, that is the world we now live in.

    Simon

    Mate I love your website, its the dogs danglies and I'll continue to use it but I just dont buy the whole legal advice on storing routes.

    If someone had come to you with some scare mongering legal jargon I really wouldn't have bought it, as said before there are way too many websites out there to list that store saved routes to share amongst others.
  • grumstagrumsta Posts: 994
    sgc wrote:
    The route planner side of the site will continue, it's just the route database that will close down.

    Briggo - it is a stupid reason but, unfortunately, that is the world we now live in.

    Simon

    Why couldn't you keep your own route database, but just not make them accessable to other people/searchable by others?
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    deadkenny wrote:
    Just to say from personal experience, it's not just the legal aspect. Hold a database like this and you may get land owners and/or trail builders requesting the data removed.

    The problem is just like everything else in this country, too much caution. Though I can understand individual concerns.

    As for other sites, their time will come. Once the owners and/or lawyers get onto them, they'll be issuing take-downs. I've had a few polite requests for removal as is just for sharing on Nokia Sports Tracker.

    Best those land owners request the Ordance Survey no longer publish the maps containing their land then.
  • Marko1962Marko1962 Posts: 320
    edited January 2010
    sgc wrote:
    The route planner side of the site will continue, it's just the route database that will close down.

    Briggo - it is a stupid reason but, unfortunately, that is the world we now live in.

    Simon

    Thats a real shame sgc, Bikehike is the best.

    I have a question for you.
    I have rides stored on your database that I reference through a link. Will you be deleting all the rides currently stored in your database?
  • gregsdgregsd Posts: 328
    So what about routes that are published in MTB mags and guide books? How do they get around this issue as all you are doing is essentially the same.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 82,097 Lives Here
    they will have insurance.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    The publishers will also have attack lawyers.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • KT1973KT1973 Posts: 93
    With no tresspass laws as such in Scotland, surely it could carry on, if you offered some kind of disclaimer for safety etc.
    It's a real pity if the site has to shut down because I used it all the time and uploaded quite a few routes and found out about good new ones too.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    I've regulalry use the website, I think it's fantastic but I have noticed a possible problem; when you save a route you tag it as either road bike, mtb, hike etc. MTBers who create a route and save it tagged as 'mtb' may be using footpaths and I'm sure which I'm sure many do, then the website is encouraging bikers to break the rules. Landowners then probably have a case if they find a route suggesting MTBers take footpaths across their land.

    A solution; take down the option to tag routes?
  • Marko1962Marko1962 Posts: 320
    KT1973 wrote:
    With no tresspass laws as such in Scotland, surely it could carry on, if you offered some kind of disclaimer for safety etc.
    It's a real pity if the site has to shut down because I used it all the time and uploaded quite a few routes and found out about good new ones too.

    AFAIK it is not being shut down - only the database facility is being shut down so we can still use BH to plot our routes etc just not the abililty to save to the database. We will still be able to save our routes as a gpx/tcx and download them to out PC's...

    Correct me if i'm wrong
  • I can't believe that I've only just heard of this website!

    'tis a sad day :(
    It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.
    Join us on UK-MTB we won't bite, but bring cake!
    Blender Cube AMS Pro
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