Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

European Law in Databases

  • Michael W. CarrollEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1519


Intellectual Property; License


European law provides three types of legal rights to database owners to control copying: (i) copyright law, (ii) the right to impose contracts or licenses on users, and (iii) a unique statutory right applicable to the non-copyrightable information – such as factual data – in European databases. This entry discusses only the third of these rights. This stand-alone or “sui generis” database right gives a database owner a claim against one who extracts or reuses the whole or a substantial part of the database contents, where “substantial part” is evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively.

Historical Background

Prior to 1996, the legal treatment of databases in Europe varied in the requirements for copyright protection. In 1992, the European Commission proposed that EU copyright law be harmonized with US law by requiring originality for copyright protection to apply. However, the European Commission also proposed that a separate legal...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Commission of the European Communities, First evaluation of Directive 96/9/EC on the legal protection of databases, 12 Dec 2005, at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/docs/databases/evaluation_report_en.pdf.
  3. 3.
    Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases, OJ L 77, 27.3.1996, p. 20–8. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31996L0009&model= guichett.
  4. 4.
    Gervais DJ The protection of databases. Chicago-Kent Law Review. 2007;82:1109–168. Available at http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=daniel_gervais.
  5. 5.
    Judgments of the European Court of Justice in respect of the Database Directive. http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/prot-databases/jurisprudence_en.htm.
  6. 6.
    Maurer SM. Across two worlds: database protection in the united states and europe. In: Intellectual property and innovation in the knowledge-based economy. 2001. http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/ippd-dppi.nsf/vwapj/13-EN2%20Maurer.pdf/$file/13-EN2%20Maurer.pdf.
  7. 7.
    Maurer SM, Hugenholtz BP, Onsrud JH. Europe’s database experiment. Science. 2001;294(5543):789–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    Study on the Implementation and Application of Directive 96/9/EC on the Legal Protection of Databases conducted by NautaDulith. http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/docs/databases/etd2001b53001e72_en.pdf.

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