Sweat of the brow  

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Under the "sweat of the brow" doctrine, new copyright claims could be made over mechanical reproductions of the painting, due to the skill and labor involved in the reproduction.[1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.


"Sweat of the brow" is an intellectual property law doctrine, chiefly related to copyright law. According to this doctrine, an author gains rights through simple diligence during the creation of a work, such as a database, or a directory. Substantial creativity or "originality" is not required.

Under a "sweat of the brow" doctrine, the creator of a copyrighted work, even if it is completely unoriginal, is entitled to have his effort and expense protected, and no one else may use such a work without permission, but must instead recreate the work by independent research or effort. The classic example is a telephone directory. In a "sweat of the brow" jurisdiction, such a directory may not be copied, but instead a competitor must independently collect the information to issue a competing directory. The same rule generally applies to databases and lists of facts.

Civil law jurisdictions have traditionally used the similar but not identical concept of droit d'auteur. European law tend to harmonize the protection of Intellectual Property throughout member states and the doctrine gains more influence. A good example is the Databases Directive 96/9/EC - in this Directive, the member states of the EU are obliged to confer protection on non-original databases, that is on those that embody no creativity, but are a consequence of substantial investment (financial, labour etc.).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sweat of the brow" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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