On Mon, Aug 25, 2003 at 12:48:42PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote: [database protection] > Well, regardless of whether it's *called* copyright, it is a copy-right > -- by virtue of the fact that it's an exclusive right granted to the > creator to control the creation of copies of the work. That's not a very accurate definition of copyright, is it? "If it involves controlling copies, surely there's copyright involved as well?" There are quite a few differences between copyright on the one hand, and database protecting laws on the other: * Copyright requires the protected subject to be "original". You can't take a book, or even a number of books, and put that under copyright; there is no such restriction for a database. * For database protection, it is required that the acquisition, control or presentation of the database shows a qualitatively or quantitatively substantial investment. i.e., you can't just alphabetically list your books on a piece of paper, state that it is a "database", and assume protection; you'd have to have a whole library before that could be true. The same is not true for copyright; as long as you're the first one to do so, it can be copyrighted. * Database law makes a difference between reuse of and requesting information from a database. In this context, reuse means that you are making the contents of the database available to the public, whereas the other action would be something like making a photocopy, printing a part of the electronical database, etc. These aren't very accurate descriptions (my original text is in Dutch, and I'm having troubles with parts of the translation), but it gives you an idea. * If you create a database, you have the right to - forbid reuse and/or requesting information from the database. Obviously, some people want to make some money out of creating a database :-) - Control the first sale inside the EU. However, you cannot forbid further sales; once the database has been sold inside the EU (with the permission of the creator of the database, obviously), the creator loses his right to control further selling of the database. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is not the case for copyrighted works. * As a user of a database, you can *without permission of the creator of that database* request a substantial part of the database, as long as it's either for private or educational use, or 'to guarantee the public security', whatever that might include (you know, secret agents and stuff). * Database law does not include stuff such as 'moral rights', or 'parental rights'. You only have the right to control the exploitation of the database (until you sell it). * Contrary to copyright law, you can give up all your rights to a database; this is probably related to the fact that those rights that cannot be given up are exactly the rights that don't exist in database law. Also, the rights to a database can be owned by a company (or how do you say that in English, a legal structure that is a person, as far as the law is concerned), which isn't the case for copyrighted works (probably because creating a database requires a substantial amount of work, which cannot reasonably be done by a single (natural) person...). * Finally, database law does not exclude other forms of protection; a database could theoretically be protected both by database law and by copyright law (if the requirements for both systems are fulfilled), or perhaps something else. I have the feeling, though, that in a real-life situation, not the entire database would be protected by copyright law; only parts of it. Copyright isn't just about "controlling who gets to copy what". It's also about protecting the original author. The same isn't the case with database law; it serves a completely different purpose, so the protection is of a completely different type. Anyway. #include <ianal.h> I used the papers of my course of "IT law" I had to take during the last year I went to school. It's pretty accurate, but what's in this mail is an interpretation of an interpretation (I haven't seen the actual lawtexts, only my teacher's interpretation of them). I could've made some mistakes. -- Wouter Verhelst Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org "Stop breathing down my neck." "My breathing is merely a simulation." "So is my neck, stop it anyway!" -- Voyager's EMH versus the Prometheus' EMH, stardate 51462.
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