September 19, 1996 / Fall 1996 / Law/Ethics

What Cannot be Copyrighted?

Written by Idea File Staff

  • Slogans
  • Titles
  • Names
  • Single words and short phrases
  • Instructions
  • Lists of ingredients
  • Familiar symbols or designs

These are generally ineligible for copyright because they lack the necessary originality and creativity to distinguish them from the ideas they represent. For example, the words in the well-known airline slogan, “Some people just know how to fly” cannot be copyrighted and, therefore, could be used as a headline or caption in coverage of the school track team.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.