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Database Law

For organised data
Database law protects investments in collecting, ranking and making data accessible. That is your protected performance; a legal monopoly. A database is a set of systematic information.

It often seems to concern normal information. But a great wealth of information, which is smartly arranged (classified), can become of great value after the input phase. That is, if the findability or callability of the data is also properly organised. This ranking can occur in various ways: by year, type, value, origin, alphabetically, updated, etc. Collecting, ranking and making accessible may require an investment in time and money. That value translates into a database in a legal sense. Want to know more, e.g. about database licences? Send an email to info@flib.nl or call us, without obligation on +31 (0) 205 210 130.

Does every data collection constitute a database within the meaning of the Databases Act? No, because the substantial investment referred to is an inescapable requirement for this monopoly right. In legal terms, databases are often found in combination with other ICT law: it may involve your product catalogue (is it being copied?), your list of purchase addresses or sales addresses (thanks to the agency, (former) employees), data storage of medical or financial data and management of sets of goods offered online (eBay). Other aspects may also play a role, such as access/ disclosure via the internet or an intranet, payment, confidentiality or operational aspects such as those of the hardware and software and suchlike. In case of disputes, you may have this data seized as well; we can assist you with that.

Some other examples of databases include: an online holiday guide, an online news archive, a file of houses for sale such as Funda, a dictionary (Van Dale), ‘detelefoongids.nl'(the telephone directory), the GoudenGids.nl (the Yellow Pages) and a register of number plates. Originality or novelty is not a requirement under database law. This is different from copyright or design law. You can also agree on a database licence.

The database used to be partly protected by copyright, but since 1999 it is protected under the Database Act. There may be a concurrence with copyright and privacy law. You may not register a database like a trademark; however, make sure you obtain some form of proof of the date.

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