This question is very similar to Licensing Issues of Methods for software and Copyright of technical standards however, the answers are, likely quite rightly unclear as it may depend on a specific case. With this in mind I've asked the question more specifically to my requirements and expand on it a little.
I want to develop a computer program that can undertake engineering calculations. In the first instance it would be used internally at the company I work for, but if possible, I would also like to sell it to third parties. Many of the equations will be based on British Standards that are owned and copyrighted by the BSI Group. I would therefore need to:
- Copy and use the equations
- Copy and use their constants (some are publicly available such as constant for gravity, but others are based on experimental outputs, which may or may not have been developed for the British Standard document)
- Copy and use their constant and variable descriptions
For guidance I can refer back to the original documentation.
I have been in touch with the BSI Group and they have advised that for internal use, My proposals are acceptable on the basis that the documents are licensed to the company and not an individual.
I have not been offered an answer form them whether this permission can extend to selling the software to third parties.
Grateful for thoughts.
I eventually got a response as follows which echos the accepted answer:
You can reproduce factual data such as equations, numerical values and formulas. However you cannot reproduce a table that includes the data. In other words you must extract it and present it in your own work. Text, figures, tables and diagrams would require our permission.