International Copyright: Principles, Law, and Practice

By Paul Goldstein | Go to book overview

A29.
E. C. DIRECTIVE ON THE LEGAL PROTECTION
OF DATABASES
DIRECTIVE 96/9/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databasesTHE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 57 (2), 66 and 100a thereof,Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee,Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 189b of the Treaty,
1. Whereas databases are at present not sufficiently protected in all Member States by existing legislation; whereas such protection, where it exists, has different attributes;
2. Whereas such differences in the legal protection of databases offered by the legislation of the Member States have direct negative effects on the functioning of the internal market as regards databases and in particular on the freedom of natural and legal persons to provide on-line database goods and services on the basis of harmonized legal arrangements throughout the Community; whereas such differences could well become more pronounced as Member States introduce new legislation in this field, which is now taking on an increasingly international dimension;
3. Whereas existing differences distorting the functioning of the internal market need to be removed and new ones prevented from arising, while differences not adversely affecting the functioning of the internal market or the development of an information market within the Community need not be removed or prevented from arising;
4. Whereas copyright protection for databases exists in varying forms in the Member States according to legislation or case-law, and whereas, if differences in legislation in the scope and conditions of protection remain between the Member States, such unharmonized intellectual property rights can have the effect of preventing the free movement of goods or services within the Community;
5. Whereas copyright remains an appropriate form of exclusive right for authors who have created databases;
6. Whereas, nevertheless, in the absence of a harmonized system of unfaircompetition legislation or of case-law, other measures are required in addition to prevent the unauthorized extraction and/or re-utilization of the contents of a database;
7. Whereas the making of databases requires the investment of considerable human, technical and financial resources while such databases can be copied or accessed at a fraction of the cost needed to design them independently;

-571-

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