I've a list of all the winners of major sporting
events in an
encyclopedia. Obviously, the accompanying text is copyright, but
how about the lists themselves? Can I just copy them verbatim?
What if I scan them?
The _information_ is not copyrightable. Any _creative_ expression
involved is, but that includes such things as the selection of which
data to present, what order it is presented in, what other data is
combined with, the physical layout, etc. See "Feist v. Rural" in
As long as your list includes ALL the winners of certain events (so
there's no "selection" issue), and lists them in some obvious way
such as by year, and you list only the information and none of the
accompanying text, and you arrange the data in an obvious way (don't
copy a special table format or something), there is no problem.
Scanning and then OCRing is fine--but presenting the scan as an image
might run into choice of visuals like fonts and colors and such.