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Re: GNU Free Database License

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GNU Free Database License
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 14:29:26 +0200 (CEST)

   >    Is it really trivial to make a definition for a word, phrase
   >    or expression?
   > IMHO, it is.  I think this is something we have all done when we
   > were younger, our teachers asking us to explain the meaning of a
   > word, which is why I don't find it creative at all.  It is also
   > something you do in math and computing science very often,
   > defining terms that you will use.

   It's also not very difficult to take photos. Yet, courts have
   consistently held that taking a photo requires creative effort
   because you have to choose the subject, angle, lighting, etcetera.
   That's why all your photos are protected by copyright.

Well, a photo isn't a "fact", while a dictionary is a list of facts
(definitins).  And you cannot copyright a fact (or has this been
changed recently?), like the fact that "hello is a common greeting
used in the English language".  What you can copyright is the
presentation of said fact.  So a dictionary is copyrighted, but only
in the sense of how it presents its "facts".  Much like you can
copyright the presentation of phonebook, e.g. using some specialised
layout.  But you cannot copyright the name + number in that phone
book, since that is considered a `fact'.


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