On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM, Gregor Hagedorn <g.m.hagedorn@gmail.com> wrote:
Marco wrote:
> So I assume that single facts (or database items) are not copyrightable just
> like single words. Only the database (or even a view?) as a selection and
> arrangement of various items is copyrightable.

Yes, a database may be copyrightable, if the creativity in selecting
and arranging information is copyrightable. This possibility exists in
many countries and is completely different from database rights.

While some databases are copyrightable, I expect this wouldn't usually apply to the sort of information we want to store. I believe we're more interested in collecting comprehensive sets of facts than creative selections and arrangements of them. 

The copyright also might not apply to the atomistic storage of those facts in Wikidata. The arrangement and presentation of those facts to readers in a Wikipedia article might more easily violate the copyright, although fair use might provide a defence there.

Some individual statements might arguably be sufficiently creative in themselves to attract copyright, e.g. sharemarket indices. I'm not aware of any clear precedents for this, however; this is the closest I've seen:

So I don't see a great need to worry about copyright in Wikidata. If it does apply in some exceptional cases, we can deal with that when it arises.

Database rights have a much wider effect, which I still think should be of concern. But that topic deserves an email of its own.