Copy Right, Copy Sense



Bellsouth vs. Donnelley

Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony

Copyright CodeA Linked Index

Feist Publications vs. Rural Telephone

Peter Veeck versus Southern Building Code Congress International Inc.,

Publications International  v. Meredith Corporation

Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S. 82 (1879)

U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8

Information on this site cannot be considered legal advice.  If you need legal advice on copyright, please consult an attorney or refer to one or more of the sponsor links on the right side of the page. Another place you might look is the US Copyright Office web site.

The copyright information on this site applies to U.S. Copyright, unless otherwise stated.

Originality is a Requirement

Originality is a constitutional requirement. (Feist)

The only part of a work that is protected by copyright is that which is original to the author.

In two late 19th century decisions, the Supreme Court defined the terms “authors” and “writings.” In doing so, the Court made it absolutely clear that both terms presumed a degree of originality. In one case, the Court determined that for a work to be classified “under the head of writings of authors, originality is required” and that “the writings which are to be protected are the fruits of intellectual labor, embodied in the form of books, prints, engravings, and the like.”(Feist) In another case, the Court defined the term “author,” as far as constitutional requirements, to mean “he to whom anything owes its origin; originator; maker.”(Feist) The court further described copyright as being limited to “original intellectual conceptions of the author,” (Feist) and stressed that an author accusing another of infringement is required to prove "the existence of those facts of originality, of intellectual production, of thought, and conception.(Feist)

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Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy

My Copyright was Infringed!

What is NOT protected by copyright?

Copyright Claims That Just Ain't So


Copyright Concepts:

Authors Labor

Authors Rights

Civil or Criminal?



Copyright Facts

Copyright Notice


Electronic Mail

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Fair Use and the DMCA

Foreign Works

From Creation


Inadvertent Infringement


Infringement Remedies

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Not Everything Protected






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Really Copyrighted?

U.S. Government Works

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© 2005, Michael Goad