Copyright in databases in Australia |

In the lead judgment in the full Federal Court, Chief Justice Patrick Keane said copyright as defined by Australia’s Copyright Act existed in literary work created by an individual or individuals. Given that, argument about whether or not the Yellow and White Pages directories were literary works – the product of individual intellectual effort – was overrun by the fact that Sensis had taken individuals out of the production process.

Sensis did tell the Federal Court that people contributed to the production process, by using software to extract telephone numbers, for example. The compilation of the listings was, however, overwhelmingly the work of Sensis’s Genesis computer system, Justice Keane said, and ”did not originate from an individual or group of individuals”.