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Dover town clerk, Allison Burton, replies to complaints from historian Lorraine Sencicle over copyright rows

Dover’s town clerk has reacted to historian Lorraine Sencicle’s claims over the use of copyright infringed maps on her website.

Mrs Sencicle, of Danes Court, Dover, has created a website called the Dover Historian which showcases her passion for the town’s heritage.

On one of her pages, Mrs Sencicle included two maps, both of which were illustrated by a man named Prosper Divas.

Dover's town clerk, Allison Burton
Dover's town clerk, Allison Burton

It was brought to Dover Town Council’s attention that Mrs Sencicle had not formally requested permission to use them – which was a breach of copyright.

The council had commissioned Mr Divas to create the maps, meaning that Mrs Sencicle would also have to apply for permission via both Mr Divas and the council.

Town clerk Allison Burton drafted a letter asking Mrs Sencicle to remove the maps or to follow the appropriate guidelines in applying for permission.

Mrs Sencicle did remove the maps, but continued to fight her corner, claiming she had already sought permission from town councillor Sue Jones at an informal event last year.

Ms Burton replied: “The copyright is owned by the person who drew the maps.

“The town council commissioned him to do it.

“Regardless of what Mrs Sencicle has said, she has not sought permission to publish the maps.

“We offered her the opportunity to ask us.

“Had she asked us we would have given her permission.

“We are keen to get the maps out there.”

Mrs Sencicle, who insists she will not be submitting a request in writing, said: “Permission to produce the maps on the website had been given, but it appears to me that Dover Town Council had not envisaged the site would be so popular.”

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