Originality and Copyright:
A work can only be classed as original when it is the result of an a creative effort. It will not be original if it has been copied from something that already exists. If it is comparable to something that already exists but there has been no copying from the existing work either directly or indirectly, then it may be original.
The term "original" also involves a test of substantiality - literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works will not be original if there has not been sufficient skill and labour expended in their creation. But, sometimes significant investment of resources without significant intellectual input can still count as sufficient skill and labour.
Ultimately, only the courts can decide whether something is original.
There is much case law indicating, for example, that names and titles do not have sufficient substantiality to be original and that, where an existing work is widely known, it will be difficult to convince a court that there has been no copying if your work is very similar or identical.
Songrite Copyright Office - Song Copyrights - Music Copyrights - Lyric Copyrights
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