In a landmark decision, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled that copyright does not subsist in newspaper headlines. Fairfax Media alleged that LexisNexis Australia had infringed its copyright by reproducing Australian Financial Review headlines in its ABIX abstracting service and communicating them to subscribers. The Federal Court however found that the headlines were too insubstantial and too short to qualify for copyright protection as literary works, despite the skill and labour involved in writing them. Mallesons Stephen Jaques represented LexisNexis in this litigation. John Swinson takes a closer look at the ruling and its implications here.