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Original

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In the Copyright Law of the United States, more specifically under 17 U. S. C 102, the work that is sought to be protected must satisfy the threshold for originality. Though most of the countries require certain degree of originality in the work sought to be protected, such requirement does not stem from either the Berne Convention or the TRIPS Agreement. Therefore, there is no uniformity in the standard for originality. In the United States, originality necessitates bare minimum degree of creativity and independent creation. The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Co. held that the work must be independently created and must possess minimum degree of creativity. This interpretation requires an extremely low level of creativity and in the words of the court, “must possess some creative spark no matter how crude, humble or obvious it might be. ” The court also took the opportunity to reject the previously judicially-established and followed the sweat of the brow doctrine. According to the said doctrine, labour and hard-work alone could suffice to establish originality. After the dosctrine was rejected by the Supreme Court in 1991, in the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp case, the court held that the copies of public domain photographs could not be copyrighted since they lacked originality and while such reproductions may have involved skill and labour, no protection could be granted to them, on account of lack of originality.

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