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Re: GNU Free Database License

From: Merijn de Weerd
Subject: Re: GNU Free Database License
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 22:25:14 +0200
User-agent: slrn/ (FreeBSD)

On 2006-09-16, Alfred M. Szmidt <> wrote:
>    Don't you think that we need a special license for databases?
> You cannot copyright databases in the US AFAIK.  There was a case
> about a phone dictionary or so if I recall...

A list of names and phone numbers is not the result of creative
activity (decided in the Feist case). But a dictionary is much
more than that. 

Making a list of words with definitions is a lot of work. So a
dictionary is certain protected by copyright. A *wordlist* is not.

It doesn't matter that the list is in a database format. If
it is the result of creative expression fixed in a tangible
form, it's protected by copyright.

Europe has a separate right for the protection of databases,
which is independent of copyright. So a wordlist could be
a protected database (ie no copying) even though there's no
copyright protection for wordlists. But this right is only
avaiable for European producers.


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