There’s a classic paper on the Quantum Zeno Effect that I discuss in Chapter 5 of the book. The paper does two tests of the effect, and presents the results in two bar graphs. They also provide the data in tabular form.
My question is this:
If I copy the data from the table, and make my own version of the graph, am I obliged to contact them and ask permission to duplicate their results in my book?
If I were copying their graphs directly, I would definitely contact them and ask permission, but I’m not as certain about using their data to make my own version of their graphs.
Complicating matters, when I asked Kate about this, she replied “Why would you need to ask permission to reproduce figures? Isn’t that fair use?” I have no idea why it is, I just know that it’s What Is Done in these cases (having been contacted a few times for permission to reproduce stuff from papers I wrote).
(Clarifying note: I’ll contact the group in question regardless, just to be polite, but I’m curious about whether I need to. Also, in this specific case, it’s probably a moot point, as the paper in question was work done for the US government, and is not subject to copyright, but I’m interested in this as a general matter.)