Intellectual Property


Originality is a requirement to copyright your work.

To be an original expression, it must only be minimally creative.

Scènes à Faire

The scènes à faire doctrine says you cannot protect generic plot lines or themes.

Having someone create something like your work independently does not invalidate the original's originality.


A “compilation” is a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. The term “compilation” includes collective works.

While facts are not protectable, compilations are. However, it must have at least some creativity. This is a very low bar however.

Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340

To be sure, the requisite level of creativity is extremely low; even a slight amount will suffice. The vast majority of works make the grade quite easily, as they possess some creative spark, “no matter how crude, humble or obvious” it might be.

Basically, it has to be anything more than an alphabetical list of people. Categorize it or something.