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Re: GNU Free Database License

From: Tryggvi Björgvinsson
Subject: Re: GNU Free Database License
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 16:13:48 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060728)

John Hasler wrote:
> Merijn de Weerd writes:
>> Making a list of words with definitions is a lot of work.  So a
>> dictionary is certain protected by copyright.
> Probably, but not because it is a lot of work.  "Work" ("sweat of the
> brow") is irrelevant.

My input in this discussion:

Firstly I would like to explain what the definition of a database is, in
law terms (a concise version):

A database is:
1) A collection of independent works, which are
2) organized systematically and are
3) accessible electronically.

Secondly, it was decided that "sweat of the brow" (a lot of work put
into it) would not be protected by law (in the EU) even though it was
protected in the UK and the US. When the EU decided against protecting
"sweat of the brow" they introduced Sui Generis which protects work
which is financially expensive (so if sweat of the brow has cost a lot
of money it would be protected by law). The UK were quite happy with
this decision (which then backfired later on, but that's another story).

Thirdly, the discussion about creativity between ams, Richard and Merjin
 shows exactly why a dictionary is creative work. Creativity is measured
by thinking of two independent persons and trying to figure out if these
two would put the information out in the exact same way. The
disagreement on the dictionary shows that they wouldn't but it should be
quite clear that a phone book would be created in the same way which
doesn't make it copyrighted (unless it cost a lot of money to gather the
information and put it together, then it would be protected by Sui Generis).


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