Re: Analysis of Database Legislation

From: Terry Carroll <carroll[_at_]>
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

     "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

     "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_]
Palo Alto, CA 94306-2155         email (personal):    carroll[_at_]
Received on Wed Sep 18 1996 - 16:49:33 GMT

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