Tag Archives: database

Database protection

Specificity of protection

Databases are intellectual assets which are strongly connected to the
digital environment. The originality criterion for databases is
appreciated in the same way as for computer programs. According to
article of the Database Directive databases are protected if by reason
of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute the
author’s own intellectual creation (see “software” below). This is not a
very high threshold to pass. However, copyright protection shouldn’t be
granted if the way the database is structured or the selection of the
contents is the usual or standard way of classification or selection for
this type of databases.

For example, in a personal phonebook in which the
phone numbers are classified by alphabetic order, there won’t probably
be any copyright protection because of the lack of originality. On the
contrary, a personal phonebook in which the phone numbers are organised
by the feelings of the person towards the people mentioned in the
phonebook could be original.
Another example : in the library catalogue of the Faculty of Law of
Thessaloniki, if the books are classified by the name of their author or
by their subject-matter e .g. civil law, international law etc., there
is probably no originality in the arrangement of the contents of the

For the protection of databases which are used by libraries or
created by libraries and the possibility of protection of a digital
library as database see my article (in Greek): Databases and libraries,
δεδομένων και Βιβλιοθήκες

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