The answer to this post's title is: maybe so. I never really thought about a compilation of data being copyrightable until I came across an article about an Australian court case Publishers see red over court's Yellow Pages copyright ruling.

My interest was tweaked! So, I delved into a little research into American law on subject copyright existence...It seems some lists and aggregations can, indeed, be copyrighted. Depends on how much originality went into the compilation, sorting and listing of the data to get a separate original result and purpose.

The actual individual data in the listings may not be copyrightable, but the compiled, finished list itself may be.

The following legal details are provided by the Minneapolis law firm of Beck & Tysver, a firm providing patent, trademark, and copyright services to clients throughout the country.

Executive summary:

Under the current U.S. Copyright Act, copyright protection exists in "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression." The ease in which copyright rights are secured under this definition has led to copyrights becoming the most widely available form of intellectual property protection. The discussion of the acquisition of copyright protection is divided into the following sections:

•originality requirement;
•works of authorship;
•automatic creation; and

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