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Copyrights can protect the work to create a publication without the need for originality. This doctrine was laid to rest in Feist Publications., Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., Inc.499 U.S. 340 (1991).


Under the 'sweat of the brow' or 'industrious collection,' the underlying notion was that copyright was a reward for the hard work that went into compiling facts. The classic formulation of the doctrine appeared in Jeweler's Circular Publishing Co. v. Keystone Publishing Co., 281 F. 83, 88 (CA2 1922).: 'The right to copyright a book upon which one has expended labor in its preparation does not depend upon whether the materials which he has collected consist or not of matters which are publici juris, or whether such materials show literary skill or originality, either in thought or in language, or anything more than industrious collection. The man who goes through the streets of a town and puts down the names of each of the inhabitants, with their occupations and their street number acquires material of which he is the author.'


The 'sweat of the brow' doctrine had numerous flaws, the most glaring being that it extended copyright protection in a compilation beyond ...

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