Looking for OS Licence for DB Dump

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Tue Feb 27 16:51:28 UTC 2007

David Dillard scripsit:

> You sure about that with regard to U.S. law?
> Databases as Compilations: Databases are generally protected by
> copyright law as compilations. Under the Copyright Act, a compilation
> is defined as a "collection and assembling of preexisting materials
> or of data that are selected in such a way that the resulting work
> as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship." 17. U.S.C. §
> 101.

Quite so.  But compilation copyright is rather thin: it protects
only the selection and arrangement of the material, and only if that
selection and arrangement have a sufficiently creative aspect to them.
The leading case, Feist v. Rural Telephone, settled that the white
pages of a telephone directory (where selection is by region and
ordering is alphabetical) is not copyrightable.  For another example,
consider an anthology of short stories (let's assume the stories
themselves are public domain or openly licensed).  You might be
able to get a compilation copyright if you chose them to fit a theme,
but not (IANAL, TINLA) if you merely chose the ones that had won an
award or were published in 1922.

John Cowan    http://ccil.org/~cowan    cowan at ccil.org
[T]here is a Darwinian explanation for the refusal to accept Darwin.
Given the very pessimistic conclusions about moral purpose to which his
theory drives us, and given the importance of a sense of moral purpose
in helping us cope with life, a refusal to believe Darwin's theory may
have important survival value. --Ian Johnston

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