Bellsouth vs. Donnelley
Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony
Copyright Code—A Linked Index
Feist Publications vs.
versus Southern Building Code Congress International Inc.,
International v. Meredith Corporation
Trade-Mark Cases, 100
U.S. 82 (1879)
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
side of the page. Another place you might look is the US Copyright Office
The copyright information on
this site applies to U.S. Copyright, unless otherwise stated.
Originality is a
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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