Can You Copyright An Essay

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The author of each has wide latitude in choosing what to say and how to say it.

Likewise, a list or compilation may be extremely creative.

In assessing the nature of the material, we first have to determine if content is subjective ("value judgment") or not.

Sometimes this will be obvious ("best love songs"; "U. Presidents, chronologically by term"), and sometimes it will require evaluating the criteria used by the original creator.

When we want to copy information from lists and compilations, we have to first figure out if they are protected by copyright.

Copyright in a list may exist in the content of the list or in the way that the content was selected and arranged.Copyright does not protect facts, but it does protect opinion.If a source is based on "value judgments", it may be protected by copyright, even if it looks very similar to fact.Instead, we consider two factors: The Wikimedia Foundation's associate counsel wrote in January 2011, "Unless you know the criteria involved in creating the list, it is impossible to even gauge the potential of a court finding that it warrants copyright protection.And unfortunately, even if you do know the criteria, it is very hard to predict what a court will say (especially because the courts vary in their opinions in different circuits on this matter) when there is a degree of creativity involved.The following examples provide some guidance on the kinds of content that would typically be considered "discovery" and, hence, public domain.(Please remember, that per below, other copyrightable factors may still hamper free use of the source list or compilation.If selection and arrangement are creative, we cannot use the same selection and arrangement of our source, but might have to add or remove elements and rearrange content into a new work.Wikipedia is legally bound by the copyright laws of the United States. § 102, copyright laws in the United States protect original works of authorship in any medium while leaving open to the public the ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles and discoveries contained in such works.If they are creative in content (subjective "value judgments"), material taken from them may need to be limited to comply with fair use.If they are creative in selection or presentation, information is usable but only if presentation and selection are significantly altered.


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