DatasetAdded By tpain
The Suffolk County Voter File from 2009
New York State Voter File List Layout
Public Domain (Data - Uncopyrightable)
There are some things that copyright law will not protect. Copyright will not protect the titles of a book or movie, nor will it protect short phrases such as “Make my day.” Copyright protection also doesn’t cover facts, ideas or theories. These things are free for all to use without authorization.
a. Short Phrases
Phrases such as “Show me the money” or “Beam me up” are not protected under copyright law. Short phrases, names, titles or small groups of words are considered common idioms of the English language and are free for anyone to use. In subsequent chapters we’ll explain how this rule applies to specific types of works. However, a short phrase used as an advertising slogan is protectible under trademark law. In that case, you could not use a similar phrase for the purpose of selling products or services. b. Facts and Theories
A fact or a theory—for example, the fact that a comet will pass by the Earth in 2027 —is not protected by copyright. If a scientist discovered this fact, anyone would be free to use it without asking for permission from the scientist. Similarly, if someone creates a theory that the comet can be destroyed by a nuclear device, anyone could use that theory to create a book or movie. However, the unique manner in which a fact is expressed may be protected. Therefore, if a filmmaker created a movie about destroying a comet with a nuclear device, the specific way he presented the ideas in the movie would be protected by copyright.
EXAMPLE: Neil Young wrote a song, “Ohio,” about the shooting of four college students during the Vietnam War. You are free to use the facts surrounding the shooting but you may not copy Mr. Young’s unique expression of these facts without his permission.
In some cases, you are not free to copy a collection of facts because the collection of facts may be protectible as a compilation (see Section B5). For more information on how copyright applies to facts, refer to Chapter 2, Section F3.
Copyright law does not protect ideas; it only protects the particular way an idea is expressed. What’s the difference between an idea and its expression? In the case of a story or movie, the idea is really the plot in its most basic form. For example, the “idea” of the movie Contact is that a determined scientist, seeking to improve humankind, communicates with alien life forms. The same idea has been used in many motion pictures, books and television shows including The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Abyss and Star Trek. Many paintings, photographs and songs contain similar ideas. You can always use the underlying idea or theme —such as communicating with aliens for the improvement of the world —but you cannot copy the unique manner in which the author expresses the idea. This unique expression may include literary devices such as dialogue, characters and subplots. d. U.S. Government Works
Any work created by a U.S. government employee or officer is in the public domain, provided that the work is created in that person’s official capacity. For example, during the 1980s a songwriter used words from a speech by then-President Ronald Reagan as the basis for song lyrics. The words from the speech were in the public domain and permission was not required from Ronald Reagan. Keep in mind that this rule applies only to works created by federal employees, and not to works created by state or local government employees. However, state and local laws and court decisions are in the public domain.
Some federal publications (or portions of them) are protected under copyright law and that fact is usually indicated on the title page or in the copyright notice. For example, the IRS may acquire permission to use a copyrighted chart in a federal tax booklet. The document may indicate that a certain chart is "Copyright Dr. Matt Polazzo. " In that case, you could not copy the chart without permission from Dr. Polazzo.