There have been attempts in the recent past to change US copyright law so that things like sports scores and statistics are copyrighted.  I know the National Basketball Association tried to claim that nobody could report their results without their permission, but that failed.


 Brion Vibber <> wrote:

On mar, 2002-12-31 at 13:33, Richard Grevers wrote:
> What is the situation when you want to include information which is
> essentially in the public domain (e.g. a historical list of the Governors-
> General of NZ) but where all the convenient sources have their own
> copyright notices? Are they in effect copyrighting the information (which I
> would consider to be in the public domain) or just their presentation of
> it?

At least under US copyright law, _knowledge_ is not copyrightable, just
creative work and presentation. A simple list of governors-general, like
a list of names and telephone numbers in a phone book, is not a
substantial creative work. (There is a particular court case on the
matter; I don't recall but you can probably find it somewhere from )

I can't speak for New Zealand, but I'd be very surprised if knowledge of
historical facts were subject to copyright. Otherwise, you wouldn't be
allowed to mention anything that you heard about on the radio or TV news
or read about in a newspaper without getting written permission and
paying a relicensing fee... ;)


-- brion vibber (brion @

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