Does Copyright Apply to Surveys?

-Angelica Wedell-

Just about everything – from books to music and everything in between – is easy to access, download and post online. With memes and other intellectual commodities freely traversing the Internet, copyright laws are easily over-looked. Most people think of published articles, books, pictures and music when they consider media protected by copyright laws. But what about surveys?

Does Copyright Law Apply to Surveys?

The short answer is yes. A great example of a copyrighted survey would be any one of the templated benchmarking survey products, owned by National Research Center, Inc. (NRC). These surveys are intellectual property created and administered by NRC, and thus we remain the copyright holders. Copyright protections apply to printed and digital surveys equally.

Trademarks

The official titles of NRC’s benchmarking surveys are trademarked: The National Citizen SurveyTM (The NCS TM), The National Employee Survey TM (The NES TM), The National Business Survey TM (The NBS TM) and Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults TM (CASOA TM). So when you see these titles, you know the survey is authentic and carries the imprimatur of quality our clients have come to know and trust.

License to Use a Survey

When you enroll in an NRC survey, a limited-time license to use that survey instrument is included. This gives you full rights to publish, promote, and disseminate the survey for the duration of the license.  Once that license has expired, you will need to enroll with NRC to get a new license and conduct the survey.

What About Our Survey Results?

NRC owns copyright privileges over all survey data. However, the license to use survey data and reports of your results does not expire. NRC also respects the privacy of your data and will not distribute individual client or jurisdiction information to any third party without first receiving express permission to do so.

How does NRC comply with Copyright Law?

You’ll notice our website has a great deal of content – articles, videos, webinars, etc. We create our own content in-house, ensuring that we own the copyright privileges to it. When we post content created by others – only with permission or if we have purchased the rights to use that media – we include attribution whenever necessary. If we do not have permission to use a particular piece of media, we will not post it onto our website, which is why we generally do not use Internet memes.

For more on copyright and how it applies to NRC, check out our Terms of Use page.

Related Articles