Copyright means “the right to copy.” In general, copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form. It includes the right to perform the work or any substantial part of it or, in the case of a lecture, to deliver it. If the work is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it. It provides protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs) and other subject-matter known as performer’s performances, sound recordings, and communication signals (Government of Canada, 2019).
Applying for copyright is an important part of your Data Management Plan. Your funding agency may have specific requirements for this. It should be mentioned that copyright does not protect data; rather, it protects the expression of that data, for example, as an original compilation (Wilson Lue LLP News & Resources, 2018)
Data are considered “facts.” They are not copyrightable because they are discovered, not created as original works. Although data itself cannot be copyrighted, you may be able to own a copyright in the compilation of the data. Creative arrangement, annotation, or selection of data can be protected by copyright (Hawkins, 2021).
Data and factual information are not protected by copyright. Additionally, simple and typical visualizations such as line graphs and tables are often not creative enough to be eligible for copyright protection (SFU Library, 2021). These types of material may be able to be copied and used without permission. For example, temperature measurements, mortality rates, currency values, chemical structures, historical dates, or the number of Twitter followers.