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Re: Antw: Re: licensing of library data - article in LIBER quarterly

From: Owen Stephens <owen@ostephens.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 09:35:14 +0000
Cc: <public-lld@w3.org>
Message-Id: <511DDB7E-584B-41B9-8204-B598A36B7D06@ostephens.com>
To: "Adrian Pohl" <pohl@hbz-nrw.de>
Following some conversation with a helpful UK copyright specialist on Twitter (@copyrightgirl) I've got some further information - two cases regarding database right that were heard by the European Court of Justice.

The interesting thing about these cases is that in both cases the court ruled the databases were not protected by the database right because there had not been 'substantial investment' in creating the databases. My reading of the judgement suggests to me not that the databases hadn't cost a large amount of resource to create (in one case the figure 4million is mentioned) but that the creation of the database was intrinsically linked with the cost of doing business for the companies concerned - almost that the creation of the database was a seen as a side effect of doing business.

There is a very good summary of the cases at http://www.out-law.com/page-5698 including some key points to note:
Protection given to the maker of a database by a database right is not as wide as was previously thought.
Database rights only arise where the maker of the database has invested substantially in obtaining or verifying data from independent sources.
Investment in actually creating data which forms part of a database will not automatically result in a database right. Organisations creating data must make separate investment in the organisation and arrangement of the database itself in order to gain protection.
Remember that a database can attract copyright as well as database rights. The reduction in the scope of protection under database rights may mean that the makers of databases seek to rely more on copyright in order to protect their investment.
The same site has a fuller case report on the two cases if you want more detail at http://www.out-law.com/page-392

For me this case law suggests that a database of articles from a publisher, without any other significant investment around the organisation/arrangement etc. would probably not attract a database right, while a database created by a pure A&I company working from source material probably would.

Need I say IANAL?

Owen
Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 09:35:50 GMT

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