In the wake of Feist, copyright practitioners are scrambling to determine what it all means, and how best to protect their client's intellectual property rights and interests. While different views are presented, an expression of dismay is common. This note will address the question: are the copyright practitioners justified in their concern? Part I will outline the Constitutional underpinnings of copyright protection. More specifically, this Part will discuss the two theories underlying the case law in the circuit courts of appeal, including a discussion of their legal philosophies. Part II will examine the Court's decision in Feist. Part III will analyze and critique the Court's decision, discuss practical implications, and present various alternate protections for databases. Finally, this note will conclude that there is little cause for concern, and the interests of copyright practitioners must properly yield to the Court's expression of the altruistic principles inherent in copyright law.
Copyright Protection in Factual Compilations: Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Company "Altruism Expressed in Copyright Law", 22 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.