Hi guys any help on this would be greatly appreciated, I am creating an app in the UK and I hope to use google's 'popular times' feed.

This data is just the estimated amount of people in the venue at any given time, i.e. 'busy' - 'not so busy'

My question is would I be allowed to use this data? Can google copyright 'data that is merely a measurement of an observable fact in the world'

I know in the US they cannot but looking for any info on UK Law

Many Thanks


UK copyright law doesn't differ from US law in whether facts are protected by copyright. However, a database could be protected, under section 3 of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. If it is "arranged in a systematic or methodical way" and is original, meaning "by reason of the selection or arrangement of the contents of the database the database constitutes the author’s own intellectual creation", then it can be protected. A data point would not be (e.g. "there were 12,945 requests in the last minute", "the temperature is 15º"). So it would depend on the originality of the data, at least for the question of copyright. This gives a fair amount of detail about database law in the UK.

There is also a non-copyright question regarding Google's TOS, since they may have limits on how you can access or distribute data. I assume you've studied the TOS and are confident that your program meets the technical requirements that they articulate.

  • Thanks a lot for your reply, at the present moment google have not opened this data through an API, so as far as I understand they have not given any permission for it to be used.Potentially we would be using the data to say "we estimate this venue is busy", this estimation would be based on google's popular times, and are wondering if this would get us into any trouble. – Ed Byrne Feb 8 '17 at 18:23

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