Publishing data from a race that I didn't organize or don't own


I'm planning a site where users can upload race results of races they either participated in or were the organizer/owner of. This is in a specific animal racing niche. There is one race in particular that is the #1 race in this niche, which has 50-100 participants in it per year on average. This race in particular publishes the race results on its website, but shortly before the next year's event (it's a one time a year thing), they take the results down from the previous year. The results of this race go back 30+ years and I'd like to display them on my site as they are not easy to find online. They have been published in several books, however.

A portion of the visitors to my site will have participated in or will eventually participate in this race. I'd like for them to show up as having participated in this race (think list of names of participants with their name linking to their profile). My questions are the following:

  1. What should I be concerned about in displaying the results from this race? How can I properly attribute the race? In books, I've seen it say 'X trademark' or 'X copyright' owned by X organization. Does that suffice?
  2. If a user uploads the results of this race (or similar race) to this site, because they participated in it or simply because it was lacking in the site, how do I ensure they properly attribute the race?
  3. Am I overly concerned here?

Copyright Trademark

asked Oct 19 '11 at 04:32
Dustin Kendall
108 points

1 Answer


Copyright issue:
In the US facts are not protected by copyright. This has come up before with sports statistics. The league (or whatever owns the race) cannot stop you from publishing facts using copyright.

Trademark Issue:
You should probably be able to use the trademarked name of the race on your site. You would just need to make it VERY clear that you are not affiliated with that name at all. The 'Mark' is a registered trademark of 'so and so' could possibly work for your situation (assuming the mark is registered). The real issue is to make sure the visitors to your site are not confused into thinking that you are affiliated with the owner of the mark.

I'm not quite sure what you are worried about in question 2 (so the answer to question 3 is probably yes), but like I said, facts are not copyrightable and you can use another's trademark so long as you are not confusing consumers as to who owns it. You should probably be able to write on your site 'Dog A won race B at track C' without infringing on anyone's intellectual property.

answered Oct 19 '11 at 08:54
Stephen Burch
915 points
  • Thank you for this answer. – Dustin Kendall 12 years ago

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Copyright Trademark