Data collections and copyright

Is there copyright in collection of data?

Copyright protects a range of materials such as books, journal articles, images, music, movies and computer programs. It can also protect compilations of material or data where there has been, skill, judgment, labour or expense required to compile it.

Copyright in the compilation of facts, figures and information

Generally there can be no copyright protection for information such as numbers, words, names or strictly factual data. However, if the information is collected and compiled, then copyright may subsist in the compilation of that information. Therefore, databases, datasets and directories of information may be protected by copyright.

Who owns directions, datasets and databases?

The owner of a database or dataset will be its creator.

Under the University's Intellectual Property policy students retain ownership of copyright in the material they create in the course of their studies. Copyright material created by staff members during the course of their employment is owned by the University.

There are also some specific situations where both staff and student material created through the university will be owned by the university and material created by staff members will be licenced back to the staff member for certain uses. More information is located on the Copyright ownership page.

See Copyright for researchers, which provides more information that may be useful to researchers.