Re: Re: Re: Genealogy Journals
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Posted by Jeffrey Donohue on November 27, 1999 at 17:24:13:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Genealogy Journals posted by Marsha Bone on November 23, 1999 at 04:41:35:
The last poster's information was somewhat inaccurate. The copyright act protects expressions, but not ideas. What that means is that data, in its own, are not copyrightable. However, expressions of that data are.
An example might be helpful: the white pages published by your phone company are not protected insofar as they merely list data without any creative input (i.e., it's alphabetical and not organized in any other way). On the other hand, the yellow pages, which include indexes, cross-references, and catagories (i.e., creative content) are protectible. See, e.g., Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Company, Inc., 111. S.Ct. 1282 (1991).
I can't answer your question in the abstract, as I'm not sure precisely what you want to copy from those prior genealogies: the expressions (i.e., layout, cross-references, et al.) or the data. However, merely saying that "courts prefer copyright holders" is not particularly helpful: here, there may not be any copyright holder at all…
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