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VIC Is Measurements Data Subject to Copyright?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by kjjbryan, 4 November 2016.

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  1. kjjbryan

    kjjbryan Member

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    My interest is in the science of the golf swing.

    About 10 years ago, Titliest (International Golf Company) did very comprehensive swing measurements of 3 very well known professional golfers. They then used these measurements in software simulations, website publications, etc., to purport to explain how the swing works. The measurements are presented in about 50 graphs. Taking these measurements requires very expensive and sophisticated equipment which I don't have access to.

    They have not been successful in explaining the swing because, I believe, they have interpreted the measurements incorrectly. I have come to different conclusions by using my own modelling techniques together with their measurements graphs.

    I am writing a book, hopefully for profit, that would, in part, compare and interpret their graphs with my own research. I understand that the graphs as published in their software, website, papers etc. would be subject to copyright but what of the data measurements?

    Can I redraw those graphs (using their data) and present them differently? Can the measurement data be considered as fact and therefore not subject to Copyright?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Nah.
    That sounds like you would be infringing.
     
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    And probably against their IP, not just copyright.
     
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  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Copyright is the relevant form of IP in this case....
     
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  5. Iamthelaw

    Iamthelaw Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean by this.

    As Tim says, it would be infringing. The charts/graphs would probably be classed as an original artistic work, probably drawing under s10 as drawing can include diagram, map, chart or plan.
     
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  6. Kim Walters

    Kim Walters Well-Known Member
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    There is no copyright in measurement data because that is not a type of work protected under copyright law. If you copy and redraw those graphs, whether there is copyright infringement, will depend on the following:

    (1) Their graphs are original works (if their graphs are not original works, there can be no "copying"), and

    (2) You will need to copy a "substantial" portion of the work for there to be copyright infringement. Substantial does not necessarily means in terms of quantity, but, rather, in terms of quality. Therefore, if you only copy a small part but it goes to the heart of the work in terms of the quality of what is taken, there will be copyright infringement.

    It is a question of degree whether there is actual copyright infringement and it will differ from case to case depending on the facts. Copyright is about the quality of what is taken and not the quantity.
     
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  7. kjjbryan

    kjjbryan Member

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    Kim,

    Thank you for your reply. It is important that I clarify your meaning. I understand that the graph as published in a book, website etc is subject to copyright. However, if I totally redraw the graphs using a different graphing tool but retain the sames axes and use their measurement data, is there an infringement?

    As a different example, I see on a real estate website that a block of land measures 100 metres by 50 metres. On my website, I redraw the block and use their measurements.
     
  8. Kim Walters

    Kim Walters Well-Known Member
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    Hi Kjjbryan

    I cannot give you a definite answer without a consideration of your particular facts and the law.

    Generally, unless a person holds a patent in a method, there will be no protection for any process they have used. If you create a new drawing that is mostly your creation and as a result of your skill and effort (without copying), you will own the copyright in the work. There is no IP protection for measurement data.
     
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