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Copyright confusion

Library Systems Newsletter [October 1991]


For the last several years U.S. courts have taken the position that the effort that went into developing a product (the "blood, sweat, and tears") determined who owned it. For example, OCLC copyrighted its data base because of all of the effort that went into creating and maintaining the data base. The OCLC copyright claim, and many others, may now be open to challenge because of a recent Supreme Court decision. The Court ruled that the data involved in the publication of a telephone directory is statistical in nature and within the public domain even though considerable effort has gone into gathering, organizing, and publishing the information. While no one would argue that a bibliographic data base is statistical, there is no question that many products and services being purchased by libraries involve information which the suppliers did not create, but into which they put "blood, sweat, and tears." It may take years before the courts look at the question, but in the meantime there is increased confusion about copyright.

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Publication Year:1991
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 11 Number 10
Issue:October 1991
Page(s):84
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Company: OCLC
Subject: Copyright
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:4984
Last Update:2021-11-17 12:27:41
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00