Knowing your intellectual property rights are important to the success of any data management program. Things like who owns the data and how the data might be used are pertinent concerns to any researcher. It is essential that all legal, professional, and ethical duties to the provider of the data are satisfied when you use a dataset for your research. Have a look at WSU's Faculty Manual (see "Copyright" section) for information about ownership of university research.
Is Data Copyrightable?
Data that is factual is not copyrightable; in fact, data that is factual lacks copyright protection under American law. However, not all data is in the public domain. A particular expression/presentation of the data that is represented in the form of a chart or table in a publication for example is protected under US copyright.
A license specifically sets out the terms on which you are able to make both the database and the data content free to use by anyone.
Licenses protect how a dataset user might or might not be able to use your data in a research project. There are two licensing groups that have developed legal tools to help manage the use of your datasets: ODC and CC.
(Open Data Commons) - Has 3 types of standard licenses which can be used in combination with your data project and they are:
(Creative Commons) - Has a collection of standardized licenses of which can be applied to select data and databases. Three of the most common CC licenses are: