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Yellow Pages Not Copyright

 
 
peterwn
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      02-16-2010
On Feb 16, 9:37*pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> In message <6dab9446-d2a0-4dca-
>
> (E-Mail Removed)>, peterwn wrote:
> > See:
> >http://jdo.justice.govt.nz/jdo/GetJu...gmentID=164961

>
> > This concerns a successful injunction application against a NZ Yellow
> > Pages imposter. *In essence, they stripped Yellow Pages database and
> > repackaged it as their own. This included business and geographic
> > categorisation which is the copyright aspect Yellow Pages relied on. A
> > similar application in Australia would probably have succeeded.

>
> What about the White Pages? Are they copyrightable in NZ as well?


An on target case is:
Feist Publications Inc v. Rural Telephone Service Co 499 US 340
(1991) which is a USA Supreme Court decision.

The essence was that the mere collection of names, addresses and phone
numbers was not a creative work, so Feist did not breach copyright by
re-compiling them into its own White Pages. In a contemporary
situation a directory compiler would try and argue that there was
creative effort in sorting and verifying the information hence there
was a creative element in the final listing making it subject to
copyright. However it it would be harder to show creative effort in
White Pages as compared with Yellow Pages. There would be less
incentive to produce competing editions of White Pages. The lucrative
aspects of the business are the sale of extra listings and display
advertising in the Yellow (and to some extent White) Pages and the
sale of databases of Yellow Pages information which is used for
marketing purposes.
 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      02-16-2010
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>,
peterwn wrote:

> On Feb 16, 9:37 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote:
>
>> What about the White Pages? Are they copyrightable in NZ as well?

>
> An on target case is:
> Feist Publications Inc v. Rural Telephone Service Co 499 US 340
> (1991) which is a USA Supreme Court decision.
>
> The essence was that the mere collection of names, addresses and phone
> numbers was not a creative work ...


Yeah, I heard about that case. But would it apply in NZ?

Another related question is whether TV program schedules are copyrightable
or not.
 
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Sweetpea
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      02-16-2010
On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 11:38:37 -0800, peterwn wrote:

> On Feb 16, 7:19Â*am, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 22:24:01 +1300, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>> > <http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/newmedia/court-shock-right-to-cop...>:

>>
>> > Â* Â* The case affirmed that factual databases, such as a telephone
>> > Â* Â* directory, residential listings or event schedules, are not
>> > Â* Â* covered by copyright law and therefore can be duplicated by
>> > Â* Â* anybody, including commercial competitors.

>>
>> > Of course, you’ve got a lawyer for yellow.co.nz saying Australian and
>> > NZ copyright law are “different”. But why should they be, on such a
>> > fundamental point?

>>
>> I thought that the Yellow Pages was merely a compilation of adverts for
>> businesses whereas the White Pages was an alphabetical listing of
>> telephone subscribers?
>>
>>

> Historically all 'business' customers (those that Telecom will not sign
> up as 'residential') were entitled to one free Yellow Pages listing but
> could sign up for listings under extra categories and for display
> advertisments. When the Post Office ran the phone system, the Yellow
> Pages would have been about the only truly commercial enterprise the
> Government ran.
>
> AFAIK, a business customer now has to arrange White and Yellow pages
> listings separately from ordering a phone but presumably still get one
> free listing in each. The default is a 'silent' number.


Funny that. For residential numbers users have to pay for unlisted/"silent" numbers.

Why should the treatment be different merely because one subscriber is deemed to be commercial and
the other residential?


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
 
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peterwn
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      02-17-2010
On Feb 16, 11:24*pm, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 11:38:37 -0800, peterwn wrote:
> > On Feb 16, 7:19*am, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 22:24:01 +1300, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> >> > <http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/newmedia/court-shock-right-to-cop...>:

>
> >> > * * The case affirmed that factual databases, such as a telephone
> >> > * * directory, residential listings or event schedules, are not
> >> > * * covered by copyright law and therefore can be duplicated by
> >> > * * anybody, including commercial competitors.

>
> >> > Of course, you’ve got a lawyer for yellow.co.nz saying Australian and
> >> > NZ copyright law are “different”. But why should they be, on such a
> >> > fundamental point?

>
> >> I thought that the Yellow Pages was merely a compilation of adverts for
> >> businesses whereas the White Pages was an alphabetical listing of
> >> telephone subscribers?

>
> > Historically all 'business' customers (those that Telecom will not sign
> > up as 'residential') were entitled to one free Yellow Pages listing but
> > could sign up for listings under extra categories and for display
> > advertisments. When the Post Office ran the phone system, the Yellow
> > Pages would have been about the only truly commercial enterprise the
> > Government ran.

>
> > AFAIK, a business customer now has to arrange White and Yellow pages
> > listings separately from ordering a phone but presumably still get one
> > free listing in each. *The default is a 'silent' number.

>
> Funny that. For residential numbers users have to pay for unlisted/"silent" numbers.


Is this still the case? When directory service was free, there was
some logic to this as people with unlisted numbers caused additional
work for directory service. Now that directory service is a 'pay'
service, this aspect is no longer an issue, even more so as the phone
providers no longer own the directories.

>
> Why should the treatment be different merely because one subscriber is deemed to be commercial and
> the other residential?


Because the non-residential customers pay more whereas the residential
customers in Telecom's case are underpinned by the Kiwi share.
 
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peterwn
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      02-17-2010
On Feb 16, 10:33*pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:

> > An on target case is:
> > Feist Publications Inc v. Rural Telephone Service Co 499 US 340
> > (1991) *which is a USA Supreme Court decision.

>
> > The essence was that the mere collection of names, addresses and phone
> > numbers was not a creative work ...

>
> Yeah, I heard about that case. But would it apply in NZ?
>

It would be of interest to a NZ judge but the NZ judge is not obliged
to 'follow' it. A NZ judge would only be obliged to follow a precedent
of a higher NZ court (including the Privy Council with respect to NZ
cases). Some classic British cases have been cited by NZ and
Australian judges over the years (the exam paper case - University of
London Press Ltd v University Tutorial Press Ltd and the football
pools case - Ladbroke (Football) Ltd v William Hill (Football) Ltd).
These were mentioned in the case in question (link added for
convenience):
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2010/44.html

Feist illustrates the point that a mere collection of names and phone
numbers is not a creative original work, this being a pre-requisite
for something being copyrightable. This is in general a common
international criterion for something to be copyright. The trick is
to convince the judge that some creativity has been injected into the
directory which the person copying has relied on. In NZ and
Australia, Feist would sit in the background as an illustration, local
cases would be more relevant.

> Another related question is whether TV program schedules are copyrightable
> or not.


Similar thing and these points apply:
1. Is there some originality that has been copied.
2. Are the programme names (or some of them) copyrightable as such.
3. There might have been special legislation that protected the
programme listings of the old NZBC (just like the suggestion of
legislation to shore up the Yellow Pages monopoly in Australia -
especially as the Aus Government still owns a chunk of Telstra which
in turn AFAIK still owns the Yellow Pages there).

Possibly sabre rattling by the old NZBC and the Listener (then owned
by NZBC) was sufficient to deter others from publishing without
consent.

In this regard note that electoral rolls have special legal
protection, it is illegal to use them for other than electoral
purposes (eg Baycorp cannot use it to trace addresses of debtors).
 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-17-2010
In message
<(E-Mail Removed)>, peterwn
wrote:

> On Feb 16, 10:33 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
> central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
>
>> > An on target case is:
>> > Feist Publications Inc v. Rural Telephone Service Co 499 US 340
>> > (1991) which is a USA Supreme Court decision.

>>
>> > The essence was that the mere collection of names, addresses and phone
>> > numbers was not a creative work ...

>>
>> Yeah, I heard about that case. But would it apply in NZ?
>>

> It would be of interest to a NZ judge but the NZ judge is not obliged
> to 'follow' it.
>
> Feist illustrates the point that a mere collection of names and phone
> numbers is not a creative original work, this being a pre-requisite
> for something being copyrightable.


I believe in Europe they introduced an additional “database right”
specifically to make an end-run around a requirement like this.

 
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