Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Historical Returns Data and Copyright
Old 10-06-2005, 08:43 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BigMoneyJim's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 2,615
Historical Returns Data and Copyright

As I understand it, facts can't be copyrighted. So if such-n-such index had 1% return in 1975 I should be able to reproduce that information. Is that right? Even an entire returns history for any stock or index (stock, commodities, etc) should be reproducible, yes?

The freely-available Schiller data has been very popular to many around these parts. After seeing CDDB (before they turned into Gracenote), FreeDB, IMDb, Wikipedia and similar data sites with publicly gathered and contributed information it's occurred to me that we could probably recreate returns histories on all sorts of asset classes and specific assets for use in financial calculators.

I have some vague ideas on how to implement this on a website. I don't imagine myself researching many returns myself, but I imagine setting up a framework where return datums are offered and approved/disapproved by vote or caucus. Whatever the actual implementation, the idea is to have all points of data publicly reviewable and challengeable which should eventually produce an accurate, useful and free set of data in various forms useful for listing or plugging into a spreadsheet.

If this effort comes to pass and is even moderately successfull I presume people that sell such data will get their feathers ruffled. So my concern is any legal issues involved in such an effort. What is copyrightable and what is not? If data is not copyrightable it seems we should be able to purchase a report, enter the data and publish it in our form. Obviously if it gets that far consulting an attorney first would be advisable, but does anyone have insights to the legal or practical issues of gathering historical return data?

BigMoneyJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright
Old 10-06-2005, 10:54 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 97
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright

I have absolutely NO legal background, so, you should probably ignore the following !

When posting the historical returns, the table probably needs labels. Like, S&P500, Nasdaq, etc.. I think those labels would be protected by Copyright. So, maybe you could post the numbers but not say what they're for ?

Is this a good time to RE ? Ok, how about now...
Dry Socks is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright
Old 10-06-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 436
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright

The finished data set didn't appear as mannah from heaven, it was created by someone. The underlying historical information was scattered among many sources. I think Schiller allows free use, but there is no requirement that he do so. To boldy plagarize would likely lead to a legal letter.
rmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright
Old 10-06-2005, 12:06 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,211
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright

Here is the governments copyright website:

Lots of good information.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright
Old 10-06-2005, 06:00 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 717
Re: Historical Returns Data and Copyright

What becomes interesting when you collect data, is when you reproduce the mistakes of the original supplier of the data. If you can correct those mistakes, it would be very hard for the original supplier to prove that it was taken from him. If you can't correct all the mistakes, I would think you could have problems.
Random Reinforcement is Highly Addictive.
riskadverse is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:25 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.