Home

Demonstration: a simple database that raises difficult questions

Consider the following simple collection of data.

Title Year Genre 1 Genre 2 Quote Score Comment
Reservoir Dogs 1991 Drama Crime “Why do I have to be Mr. Pink?” 8.5 Tarantino’s first and best
Fargo 1996 Crime Comedy “We’re not a Bank, Jerry.” 8.0 Overrated, but good
Napoleon Dynamite 2004 Comedy   “I caught you a delicious bass.” 5.0 When is the funny part?
Star Wars 1977 Sci-Fi Adventure “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” 10.0 The gold standard. Undefeated.
Aliens 1986 Sci-Fi Action “All right, we waste him. No offense.” 10.0 20 years old and still convincing
The Exorcist 1973 Horror Thriller “Fear the priest!” 10.0 The scariest movie ever, period
Excalibur 1981 Fantasy Adventure “That’s the only thing of yours I don’t want!” 9.5 Underrated, excellent, doesn’t deserve obscurity

Now imagine that there was an additional column, containing a full original review for each film. The reviewer would own the copyright to the review, and the entire compilation suddenly looks more like a protectible work.

This example illustrates that while a database can be defined with some precision, it’s often very difficult to decide what parts should be protected and which parts should not.