The EC Database Directive
Submit Articles Back to Articles
1st May 2009
Individual items of information do not attract property
rights, however, compilations of data may be protected by intellectual
property rights (IPR).
Pre-EC Database Directive
Before the implementation of the EC
Database Directive (96/9/EC),
compilations of data could only be protected in the UK by copyright
under the Copyright Design and Patents Act (CDPA) as literary works,
provided that they were recorded in some medium and were "original",
assuming that the work had been created by a qualifying person (which
will usually be the case) (Part I, CDPA).
The requirement of originality was not set
at a high threshold:
sufficient skill, judgment or labour must be expended by the author of
the compilation to make it his own work. For example, a compilation of
data concerning the entrants in a greyhound race was held to attract
copyright protection (BAGS v Wilf Gilbert  FSR 723).
The EC Database Directive
In order to harmonise EU laws, the
Database Directive was passed in
1996 and was implemented in the UK by the Copyright and Rights in
Databases Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/3032) (Database Regulations). The
Database Regulations, which came into effect on 1 January 1998, amended
the copyright provisions under the CDPA as they applied to databases,
and introduced a new sui generis database right,
effectively creating the possibility of two separate IPRs in a
database: copyright and database right.
The European Commission has published a
report which identifies serious
flaws in the provisions of the Database Directive and concludes that it
has failed in its objective of encouraging the creation of more
databases within the EU. The report proposed various ways to remedy the
situation (including getting rid of the database right altogether) but
for the time being, the Commission intends only to consult interested
parties on the solutions suggested in the report.
is a Solicitor at Lawdit, specialising in
Commercial and Intellectual Property Law, and can be contacted via
About the Author
offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts,
Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with
a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law.
Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the
Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the
appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world,
the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-05-19 15:50:16 in Legal Articles