Alex R. wrote:
Perhaps you did not read that
part where I said "it is so generic as just to be knowledge" such generic
expresssion cannot be copyrighted, or if it is subject to copyright it is
so de minimus as to be trivial. You cannot copyright a sentence such as
"New York is the financial capital of the world." It is trivial expression,
believe it or not.
I disagree. One, the sentence "New York is the financial capital of the
world." is not a generic statement of fact; it is a conclusion based on
a number of other facts, such as "The Wall Street Journal is published
in New York." I won't waste time deconstructing the sentence further,
but it's clearly not objective fact.
Two, I would argue the sentence is copyrightable. The selection and
arrangement of words within a language to form sentences is a creative
form of expression, and capable of protection by copyright. After all,
you could have written "The financial capital of the world is New York"
or "New York is the world's financial capital".
The reason you might believe the sentence to be uncopyrightable is
really the difficulty of proving copyright infringement. Since the
sentence is relatively generic and easy to compose, you can't prove
infringement of this sentence just by showing that someone else also
wrote the same words (for anyone wondering, copyright is not like patent
- if a second person comes up with the same thing independently, it's
not a violation). So instead you would actually have to prove that they
copied you, which is much more difficult, since they're not likely to
admit it. But if someone did actually copy that sentence without some
other defense, like fair use, it would technically be an infringement.
We should really be having this discussion on wikilegal-l.