Sports results

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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geewhizz
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Sports results

Post by geewhizz » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:43 pm

I'd be grateful for some advice. Would I be correct in thinking that sports results can be reproduced in print as by their very nature they are in the public domain? I can see the difference between fixture lists for example but once the match has taken place in public, can I print results, scorers etc without breaching copyright?

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:15 pm

Interesting question.

Does the collection of results represent a work of skill labour or judgment? Possibly.... Certainly in the case of a database, copyright can exist in the collection of data itself. So is it true to say the same principles apply?

I suspect that if you simply copy the scores wholesale from another site/publication they could potentially be cause for complaint. The originator must have taken some time compiling the scores, so why should you be allowed to reproduce their work without doing any of the work or making any contribution?

I have to play safe and suggest that you ask the site/person publishing the data for permission to publish/copy their results. If it is a web-based use, they may only want a link in return.


P.S. In copyright, public domain means that copyright has expired - i.e. the creator of the work died over 70 years ago. So I can't see how the term has relevance here.

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Post by geewhizz » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:55 am

Thank you for your response.

I'm interested because I want to reproduce in print details of sports events that I have attended (as part of a wider work), presumably I have therefore created my own database. I need to fill in some gaps however, and would need to reproduce information that would have been available to any one of the thousands that attended the event or the millions who could have watched it on television.

It's a point to which I still do not know the answer, does anyone hold the copyright of information that was freely available to anyone who watched it? True, I may need to take some information from say, one of the hundreds of websites which reproduce this data, but doesn't the very scale of its availability affect the further use of it in print?

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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:03 pm

There is a difference between legitimate research and copying. In your situation that difference may be very subtle, but it sounds like you are on the right track. Realistically, I doubt anyone would object to your actions as you describe them here.

As I understand your situation - you use personal knowledge and a range of sources to compile your results, and this seems perfectly legitimate and correct, (as opposed to wholesale copying of someone else's results which could spell trouble) .

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