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Re: GNU Free Database License

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GNU Free Database License
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 23:01:58 +0200 (CEST)

   >    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.

A dictionary requires as much work as a phone book and isn't a very
creative process, now, an encyclopedia, that would be another subject.
But I wouldn't call an encyclopedia a database either, I was using the
word in the sense of a list of data that someone has gathered (not
created, compare with an encylopedia), such a list cannot be
copyrighted as far as I know.

For example, a list (database) of genomes for a bunch of species isn't
copyrightable either, but it is a lot of work to gather the data. 

   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.

I'll have to read that, thanks.

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