Re: Analysis of Database Legislation

From: Terry Carroll <carroll[_at_]tjc.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 09:46:20 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 17 Sep 1996, Vance R. Koven wrote:
>
> 1. The statement that Feist was a constitutional case is debatable.

Feist was clearly a constitutional case. Look at some of these quotes:

     "Originality is a constitutional requirement."

     "As one pair of commentators succinctly puts it: 'The originality
     requirement is constitutionally mandated for all works.'" 

     "Thus, even a directory that contains absolutely no protectible
     written expression, only facts, meets the constitutional minimum for
     copyright protection if it features an original selection or
     arrangement." 

     "As we have explained, originality is a constitutionally mandated
     prerequisite for copyright protection." 

     "The selection, coordination, and arrangement of Rural's white pages
     do not satisfy the minimum constitutional standards for copyright
     protection." 

     "This time-honored tradition [alphabetical arrangement] does not
     possess the minimal creative spark required by the Copyright Act and
     the Constitution."

In fact, in my opinion, the surprising thing about Feist is that it _is_ a constitutional case, since there was certainly a sufficient statutory basis for the judgment, based solely on the text of section 102.

--
Terrence J. Carroll 
Attorney at Law                                      ph: 415/843-5090
Cooley Godward Castro Huddleson & Tatum             fax: 415/857-0663
Five Palo Alto Square            email (office): carrolltj[_at_]cooley.com
Palo Alto, CA 94306-2155         email (personal):    carroll[_at_]tjc.com
Received on Wed Sep 18 1996 - 16:49:33 GMT

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