[R] [OT] Is data copyrightable?

Peter Dalgaard p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Sat May 12 22:11:07 CEST 2007

hadley wickham wrote:
> Dear all,
> This is a little bit off-topic, but I was wondering if anyone has any
> informed opinion on whether data (ie. a dataset) is copyrightable?
> Hadley
In general not, I believe. E.g., I didn't have to ask formal permission 
to use data from Altman's book in mine (and I did check with my 
publisher). I suspect that things can get murkier than that though; I 
seem to recall stories of plagiarism cases in relation to collections of 
mathematical tables. Beware also that there can be other legal 
complications, including rights to first publication of new results, 
which usually implies that you cannot publish entire datasets until 
their publication potential has been exhausted. And of course, proper 
attribution is required for reasons of scientific integrity and general 
courtesy. (Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer, esp. not a US one...)

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