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COPYRIGHT CASE STUDY:

FEIST PUBLICATIONS, INC.


v.
RURAL TELEPHONE SERVICE
By: CO.,
499 U.S. 340 (1991)
INTRODUCTION


This case requires us to clarify the extent of copyright
protection available to telephone directory white pages.

(1) Image from: https://www.directoryselect.com.au/images/home-books.png


Introduction

FEIST PUBLICATIONS, INC. RURAL TELEPHONE SERVICE CO.


A publishing company that A certified public utility that
specializes in area-wide provides telephone service to
telephone directories several communities in
northwest Kansas
Covers 11 different telephone
service areas in 15 counties and Approximately covers 7,700
contains 46,878 white pages white pages listings
listings
BOTH DISTRIBUTES TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES
(WHITE & YELLOW PAGES)
PROBLEM


Feist and Rural compete vigorously for yellow pages
advertising.

(2) Image from: http://www.yellowpages.com.iq/img/yellow_page_pdf_btn.png


Problem

MONOPOLY
Rural as the sole provider of telephone service in its area
Feist approaches Rural for the right to use its white pages listings
Rural refused, motivated by a purpose to extend its monopoly.
WITHOUT CONSENT
Feist started to use Rurals white pages listings behind their back
1,309 of the 46,878 listings in Feist's 1983 directory were identical to
listings in Rural's 1982-1983 white pages.
BATTLE
4 of the listings obtained by Feist were fake, inserted by Rural to
detect copying
Rural sued Feist for copyright infringement. Stating that, in
compiling its own directory, Feist could not use the information
contained in Rural's white pages.
JUDGEMENT

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is Reversed.

(3) Image from: http://www.bailiffcompany.co.uk/images/judge.jpg


REASONS

No author may copyright facts or ideas. The copyright is


limited to those aspects of the work -- termed 'expression' --

that display the stamp of the author's originality.
Reasons

CREATION DISCOVERY
The first person to find and report a particular fact merely discovered
its existence
One who discovers a fact is not its "maker" or "originator"
Scientific, historical, biographical, and news of the day may not be
copyrighted and are part of the public domain available to every
person
FACT COMPILATIONS ARE BARELY CREATIONS
Copyright protection may extend only to those components of a
work that are original to the author and the facts and ideas it
exposes are free for the taking
Only the compiler's selection and arrangement may be protected;
the raw facts may be copied at will
Reasons (Cont.)

RURAL WAS COMMON


Their white pages are entirely typical; Rural takes the basic
information -- name, town, and telephone number -- of the their
subscribers and lists it alphabetically by surname
Their listings were required to be done by the Kansas Corporation
Commission as part of its monopoly franchise
Alphabetical arrangement is universally observed in directories
published by local exchange telephone companies
THE FLAWED SWEAT OF THE BROW
The statement, 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 basically refrains from the most fundamental axiom of
copyright law
Copyright is not a tool by which a compilation author may keep
others from using the facts or data he or she has collected
THANK YOU
Images from:
(1) https://www.directoryselect.com.au/images/home-books.png
(2) http://www.yellowpages.com.iq/img/yellow_page_pdf_btn.png
(3) http://www.bailiffcompany.co.uk/images/judge.jpg