The European Union (EU) directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases is an intellectual property directive requiring EU member states to protect databases both by copyright and by a "sui generis" right that controls extraction and re-utilization of the contents of a database. This directive introduces a sui generis right, explicitly protecting collections of facts regardless of any creativity. It also confirms that, if there is creativity involved in the creation of a database, that database is protected by copyright.
Requirements for protection Edit
To qualify for the sui generis database protection, the creator of the database must show that there has been qualitatively and/or quantitatively a substantial investment in either the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents. It does not matter what the selection method was, or how much creative effort was involved. Thus, this is purely a "sweat of the brow" protection regime.
The exclusive rights Edit
The owner of a protected database has the right to prevent extraction and/or re-utilization of the whole or of a substantial part, evaluated qualitatively and/or quantitatively, of the contents of that database.
- "Extraction" means the permanent or temporary transfer of all or a substantial part of the contents of a database to another medium by any means or in any form. Basically, if somebody uses the normal interface to a database to obtain data from it, he or she is extracting that data. The act includes downloading, copying, printing or any other reproduction in any form, electronic or not, temporary or not. In other words, also copying the database itself is "extraction" of the database.
- "Re-utilization" means any form of making available to the public all or a substantial part of the contents of a database by the distribution of copies, by renting, by on-line or other forms of transmission. This basically covers putting up a search and retrieval interface to the database, so that others can extract information from it. Public lending of a database is not a re-utilization of that database.
Evaluation by the European Commission Edit
The European Commission issued on December 12, 2005 a first evaluation of the directive "to assess whether the policy goals of Directive (...) [had] been achieved and, in particular, whether the creation of a special “sui generis" right [had] had adverse effects on competition."