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If I'm looking to build an app or write a book and I wish to use statistics, am I allowed to basically use their numbers as long as I cite where it is coming from? If I do make a profit from it, do I owe any royalties to the original scientists/surveyers? Must I ask them for permission?

Currently, the poll data in question is from this website but I'd like to know what's within bounds. The data is from various major media outlets like FOX.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html

My intuition pulls me towards thinking that I see books reference hundreds of studies all the time and public polls should be open information to everyone, but on the other hand commercial interests may be legally entangling.

I'm not experienced at all in law, so I'd like to hear what you think. Thanks

  • Can you clarify your question? It seems like you may be referring only to surveys of people, but you first make general reference to unqualified "statistics," and your title also references "experimental data." So what are you really asking about? – feetwet Aug 20 '15 at 21:50
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Copyright

Prominent at the bottom of the page is:

© RealClearPolitics 2015

This is nice because it tells you who you have to approach for a licence. If it wasn't there the material would still be copyright you just wouldn't know who owned the copyright.

Questions

So:

If I'm looking to build an app or write a book and I wish to use statistics, am I allowed to basically use their numbers as long as I cite where it is coming from?

No, unless what you do constitutes fair use and I don't think it does.

If I do make a profit from it, do I owe any royalties to the original scientists/surveyers?

No, but you would owe whatever licence fee you negotiated with the copyright holder, ostensibly RealClearPolitics.

Must I ask them for permission?

Yes, unless you are OK with running the risk of being sued.

Commentary

I see books reference hundreds of studies all the time

This is because they are generally protected by Academic Fair Use

public polls should be open information to everyone

The only public poll that I know of is an election and that information is available. What you are looking at is a private poll commissioned by and paid for by RealClearPolitics and it is their intellectual property; why should that "be open information to everyone"?

commercial interests may be legally entangling

Always

  • Thank you that was clear. I guess that's fair enough and honestly I probably won't charge. I appreciate you pointing me toward Academic Fair Use I didn't know such a thing existed. – Script Kitty Aug 21 '15 at 1:35

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