[cc-licenses] famous quotations

Peter Brink peter.brink at brinkdata.se
Sun Feb 19 15:28:08 EST 2006

Terry Hancock skrev:
 > Other provisions would in many countries
 > actually allow you to claim the aggregate work as your own,
 > surprisingly enough (I've never really thought that
 > was fair, but who says laws are fair?).
 > You see, what you've created is probably a "database",
 > which is certainly copyrightable in Europe, and certain
 > aspects of it may even be protected in the US (which does
 > not generally recognize a database copyright, thank
 > goodness).

That just any set of aggregated data is protected by "copyright" in the 
EC is unfortunately a common misconception. The investments in time and 
money a party has put into _constructing the infrastructure_ of a 
database and the time and money invested in the _collecting of data_ can 
be protected by a so called neighbouring right – which is not a 
"copyright" per se, but a piece of unfair-competition legislation 
inserted into the code of the EC member nations copyright acts. As the 
database directive (96/9/EC) puts it, if a database is "qualitatively 
and/or quantitatively a substantial investment in either the obtaining, 
verification or presentation of the contents" then the owner has a sui 
generis right to the contents. Note that the sui generic right _do not_ 
protect investments done to create the contents... Also note that the 
investment needs to be "substantial".

An aggregated set of data that by "reason of the selection or 
arrangement of their contents, constitute the author's own intellectual 
creation" is however eligible for copyright protection. Note that it is 
the _selection_ that can be protected and not the content and also that 
the selection must be original – selections that anyone could have made 
do not qualify for protection.

 > I would suggest the "CC-By". That is, "Attribution Only"
 > (attribution to the original author, that is).  The other
 > alternative is to describe them simply as "Public Domain"
 > which is essentially true -- anything that cannot be
 > copyrighted (such as excerpts small enough too be covered
 > by "fair use") would be considered "public domain", AFAIK.

Attribution is mandatory in most of the world, regardless of license or 
"PD". The CC-By license would be a license to make use of part of or the 
whole the aggregation, i.e. the selection. The license would not cover 
the contents. The contents, being quotes, would be covered by the 
quotation exemption to copyright law. Note that different jurisdictions 
might vary in just how long quotes they accept under this exemption.

/Peter Brink

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