Examples of compilations
- Audio-visual works
- Web pages
A compilation may involve many copyrights
A compilation or collective work is form of expression that arises
from combining a selection of separate elements, such as a web page,
an issue of a journal, or a database.
If the selection or arrangement of materials in the compilation
is original, the compilation can be protected by copyright, in addition
to any copyrights that may exist in individual components in the
compilation. The copyright in a compilation is independent from,
and does not expand or diminish, any copyright that may exist in
any of the components.
Using works from compilations
In a compilation, such as an anthology or journal publication, there
may be a copyright notice that indicates the publisher is the owner
of the work.
Publisher may not own all rights for all uses
Even though there may be a copyright statement printed in a work,
this does not mean that the publisher owns every element of the
publication. The publisher may not have obtained an assignment of
ownership of the individual components to include them in the compilation;
the publisher may have obtained only a license to use the work in
that particular manner.
If ownership is hard to determine
If you want to use part of a compilation, it may be difficult, if
not impossible to ascertain who owns what from just the copyright
notice in this situation. You may need to contact the publisher
or entity listed as the owner of a compilation to determine the
ownership status of various elements of the work and then contact
individual authors to obtain permissions, if required.
Specify what is needed
When dealing with a compilation or collection of materials, it is
important to specify exactly what it is you wish to use so that
you can identify who holds the rights you may need.
Compilations and Public Domain
Many compilations are created from public domain materials.
Public domain materials are not eligible for copyright protection,
even if they are republished in a new format that is original.
For a compilation using public domain materials, this means that
individual elements of a compilation do not have copyright protection
and so any copyright on the collection would be on the original
arrangement or selection of the materials.
EXAMPLE: A selection
of Shakespeare’s plays