Do I need copyright for this?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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mjb198
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Do I need copyright for this?

Post by mjb198 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:57 pm

Hi, Would I need copyright permission to copy data such as car mpg figures and make model information from car manufacture's websites?
It's to be used on another website! Thankyou

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:02 pm

Generally speaking pure “data” cannot be subject to copyright because it tends to fall outside the criterion of the original intellectual or artistic product of a human mind. That said, a table of data can be classed as a literary work and would thus be copyright, and a database of assembled data can be subject to what is known as database right as well as possibly copyright. Database right lasts for 15 years from first publication. See the IPO site for more details on the topic of databases.
And the typographical arrangement of a published edition is subject to copyright. So for instance reproducing a manufacturer's datasheet photographically may infringe copyright even though the data therein is not copyrightable.
On balance, I would say that quoting mpg figures (or other performance figures) without permission might technically infringe copyright, but quoting model numbers/names etc would not. However most car manufacturers are likely to have registered their marque and model names as trade marks or they may be un-registered trade marks. There is no problem in using/quoting trade marks as long as you are not 'passing off' something fake as being the genuine product, by means of a trademark. From what you have said, that would not seem to apply here.
If you intend to quote the make/model/mpg figures for the purposes of criticism or review – so for instance comparing one car's performance against another – you may be entitled to exemption under Section 30 – Fair Dealing. But make sure that if you go down this route, you acknowledge the original copyright source.
Unless your website is intended to be highly critical of the manufacturers or their products, I suggest it would do no harm to seek their permission to use the data you want. It is highly unlikely that they would refuse/object. Obviously you should not expect to pay to use this data.

mjb198
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Post by mjb198 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:29 am

Thanks for your help.

The data would be used in a comparative way, so I've sent a few requests to the manufacturers to see what response I get.

Thanks again!

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