The 1991 US Supreme Court decision in Feist Publications Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co. held that factual matter is not subject to copyright protection because it is not original to the author, thus dramatically rejecting a two-century-old tradition of protecting factual compilations under copyright. The contributors to this book reassess this decision and its implications, particularly for the protection of electronic databases.
The debate over fact-based works has grown still more complicated since Feist with the enactment of worldwide initiatives that extend the protection of databases, such as the European Union's Database Directive. A number of legal scholars have voiced their opinions on how Congress should react to the Court's decision and the Database Directive, but none have put forth a viable solution or questioned the debate's underlying assumptions. The contributors to this insightful book turn their attention to these overlooked aspects, approaching the protection of factual matter from a range of perspectives: policy, historical, comparative, empirical and philosophical.
The range of viewpoints and disciplines represented in this compelling book will be of great interest to students, scholars and lawyers working in the area of intellectual property law.
Edited by Robert F. Brauneis, Associate Professor of Law, Co-Director, Intellectual Property Law Program and Co-Director, Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies, The George Washington University Law School, US
Contents: Preface PART I: COPYRIGHT AND FACTS: HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES 1. Feist, Facts and Functions: Historical Perspective Miriam Bitton 2. The Debate Over Copyright in News and its Effect on Originality Doctrine Robert F. Brauneis 3. Of Silos and Constellations: Comparing Notions of Originality in Copyright Law Elizabeth F. Judge and Daniel J. Gervais PART II: THE FACT: A CONTESTED CONCEPT 4. Two Fallacies about Copyrighting Factual Compilations Michael Steven Green 5. Speaking of the World: Fact, Opinion and the Originality Standard of Copyright Alan L. Durham 6. Created Facts and their Awkward Place in Copyright Law Justin Hughes 7. Copyright and Convergence: A Pragmatic Perspective David McGowan PART III: ALTERNATIVES TO COPYRIGHT: TRADE SECRET, TORT, AND SUI GENERIS PROTECTION OF FACTS 8. The Challenge of Protecting Trade Secret Information in a Digital World Elizabeth A. Rowe 9. The Third Party Problem: Assessing the Protection of Information Through Tort Law Sharon K. Sandeen 10. The Componentization of Information Kristen Osenga Index