I work and teach in a field where public data is scarce (anatomical MRI processing). I planned to organize a few practical works for students this semester. I had a pretty hard time gathering publicly available data from different software suites/open projects to organize a consistent and motivating practical work. Now, my question is the following:

Given that all these data are available to download (examples of data: fsl.fmrib.ox.ac.uk/fslcourse (Section Data Files)) on the author/lab website, do I "have the right" to create "my own data set" from parts of this data and under what conditions?

The reason that pushes me to do so is that some of the data comes from different heavy archives with hundreds of unnecessary things, with heterogeneous naming from one source to another, and I would like to "repackage" only the needed data in a consistent and comprehensive way and make this repackaged archive available somewhere for my students.

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    Duplicate of law.stackexchange.com/questions/11359/can-you-copyright-data
    – Anonymous Physicist
    Sep 16, 2020 at 9:00
  • @AnonymousPhysicist Thanks for the link. Does it suggest that I can do what I want with available raw data ? Is copyright the actual think I need to consider ?
    – peuhp
    Sep 16, 2020 at 9:25
  • Maybe medical privacy? In any case, this question does not seem to be about academia to me.
    – Anonymous Physicist
    Sep 16, 2020 at 9:47
  • This depends a lot on what you mean by "make this repackaged archive available somewhere". You can't republish the copyrighted work of others, certainly, even if you reformat it. But you can usually use it for educational purposes.
    – Buffy
    Sep 16, 2020 at 11:07
  • @Buffy thanks. It seems to me it is contradictory with law.stackexchange.com/questions/11359/can-you-copyright-data. Does it ? In any case, I guess this is indeed an important point and maybe the best for me would be to provide tempory links to the data to my students (so that I am not republishing the data but simply providing modified version of already existing data, but the difference seems thin to me ...). Nonetheless I was quite enthousiatic to put the practical guideline as well as the data online so that anyone can do it, so more about this aspect would be appreciate :)
    – peuhp
    Sep 16, 2020 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


This is fine. The only exceptions would be for identifiable data which would be covered by responsible conduct of research. You should take that training if you have not already in order to make sure you do not run afoul of the institutional IRB.

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