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Context: there is a collection of public domain work (example A: collection of poems; example B: collection of classical music), let's say "50 most ... X".

Any annotation, organisation, etc. (including arrangement, typography) is under copyright protection for this anthology, without question.

My question is: is the collection itself, i.e., which 50 pieces of something are together, copyrighted?

More concrete question: am I allowed to create a different publication, with different annotations, but with the same 50 pieces of something without infringing copyright?

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    Jurisdiction? The EU has some specific rules on collections. – MSalters Jun 8 at 13:12
  • I'm an EU national, with Swiss residence, and the stuff would be available globally afterwards via a download link... Welcome to the modern world :) The collection in question is composed by Yamaha, I have no idea under what jurisdiction (Japan? US? EU? Swiss?). – D. Kovács Jun 8 at 14:20
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"am I allowed to create a different publication, with different annotations, but with the same 50 pieces of something without infringing copyright?"

Generally speaking, yes, so long as your collection is not derived from any copyrighted material.

The hardest question would be whether the selection or order of the 50 pieces would have copyright protection, but generally speaking, a list that short would not as the list itself is insufficiently original to constitute a copyrightable work of its own.

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