An Australian Judge ruled that copyright laws do not apply to collections of facts, regardless of the amount of effort that was spent collecting them. In this case, the case surrounded the reproduction of entries from the White and Yellow Pages, but the ruling appears to have an impact on all sorts of things, including genealogy information.
In the United States, collections of facts have been considered to be free of copyright for years. However, laws in other countries have not always been as clear about copyrights. The new ruling seems to give Australian genealogists permission to publish books that contain lists of facts without fear of copyright violations.
The ruling may be found at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2010/44.html.
An explanation written by legal expert Noric Dilanchian may be found at http://www.dilanchian.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=601:telstra-loses-as-copyright-blowback-continues&catid=23:ip&Itemid=114.