Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Licensing and Contracting Issues in Databases

  • Michael W. CarrollEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1518




A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties usually formed when each party promises to do some action not otherwise required or to refrain from taking some action not otherwise required. In this context, a license is a grant of rights or permission by the owner of rights under copyright in a database. The key differences between a copyright license and a contractual database license are who is subject to the license and the consequences of breaching the license. A breach of a copyright license usually exposes the breaching party to liability for copyright infringement, which can include remedies such as injunctions, statutory damages, and disgorgement of profits. In contrast, a breach of contract exposes the breaching party to liability for the database owner’s actual damages, which must be proven with reasonable certainty. Oftentimes, legal agreements styled as “terms of use” or as licenses in relation to databases are technically...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Association of Research Libraries, principles for licensing electronic resources at http://www.arl.org/sc/licensing/licprinciples.shtml.
  2. 2.
    Bowers V. Baystate Techs., 320:F.3d 1317, 1320, Fed. Cir. 2003.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greater western library alliance guidelines for licensing electronic information resources. http://www.gwla.org/reports/licensing.html.
  4. 4.
    Lemley AM. Terms of use. Minn Law Rev. 2006;91(2):459–83.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ProCD V. Zeidenberg, 86:F.3d 1447, 7th Cir. 1996.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Villanova University School of LawVillanovaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amr El Abbadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA