There are however some types of
works that are deemed by judges to contain no creativity at all. For example, a mere listing of ingredients or
contents, such in a recipe, is considered to be completely lacking in creativity
and cannot be protected by copyright.
Similarly, telephone directory white pages and other listing of data
have also been deemed to lack even minimal creativity.
Raw data or facts such as name,
address, and phone numbers lack ‘minimal creativity’ and hence are not eligible
for copyright protection.
Databases are an entirely different subject
and may have complete or limited protection under copyright law.
Copyright protection exists for “Automated
Databases” providing protection for certain collections of information that
meet the minimal creativity test. The
law basically protects even a person who has compiled a database, but has taken
some effort and creativity on his/her part to ‘compile’ the data.
. As with the originality requirement,
the creativity requirement also works to prevent others from making an exact
copy of a public domain work from getting a copyright protection. For example, photographs of public domain
paintings may also fail the minimal creativity requirement.
a list of items that you may use (these are already in the public domain!):
• Scientific principles, theorems,
mathematical formulae, laws of nature, etc.
• Scientific and other research
methodologies, statistical techniques and educational processes
• Ideas, concepts, discoveries,
theories and hypotheses
• Facts, information not recorded or
• Data, know-how and knowledge that
has not been recorded
• Laws, regulations, judicial
opinions, government documents and legislative reports (large business have
been developed just to sell this type of information!)
• Innovations qualifying for
intellectual property protection, in which either no rights are claimed or in
which rights have expired
• Innovations that fail to qualify
for intellectual property protection because they do not meet the requirements
for patent, copyright or trademark protection
• Word, names, numbers, symbols,
signs, rules of grammar and diction, and punctuation.
Reference case on the Doctrine of
minimal creativity. In these case the Doctrine of minimal creativity is mainly
soul of the document which copyrightable or not.