2006-01-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1108/07378830610692217
Copyright in the networked world
Philosophische Fakultät I
Purpose – The purpose of this column is to look at how US copyright law deals with facts and what can reasonably be considered as a fact. Design/methodology/approach – The US statutes and case law are examined, as well as standard practices within academic settings for the use and analysis of facts. Findings – Using facts may require a risk assessment under certain circumstances. Although facts cannot be protected under US law, compilations of facts can have protection under the European Database Directive, and certain apparent facts, such as normal human body temperature, represent judgments based on extensive research and analysis. It is not always clear when a research result achieves the status of a fact and is therefore exempt from copyright protection. Originality/value – The use of facts is an essential part of scholarly work and factual compilations are important tools for many scholarly communities. Understanding how far facts may be used and manipulated helps researchers and teachers who have grown anxious about copyright infringement.