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Sat Oct 4 14:55:08 UTC 2008

database right.

This may be of some interest, as:

a) it involves Directmedia, with whom I believe we've worked in the
past and it's interesting to see what they're up to now;

b) it helps explain a bit what the "database right" actually means for
reusers, such as ourselves.

The ruling is relating to a case where a German university created a
list of "significant poems" - an extensive academic work - and
Directmedia then reproduced almost the entirety of this selection as
part of a similar collection. Astute readers will no doubt spot that,
well, we often do pretty similar things.

The case doesn't go any further on defining what is or isn't a
database - the court didn't discuss the issue of whether the list
constituted one, and accepted it did - but it does help define what
constitutes *infringement* of the database right.

Basically - as I understand it - reproduction which puts a
"substantial part" of the original database into another medium is
held to be potentially infringing, even if it isn't an exact copy and
even if you've put in some editorial refinement.

(Note potentially - this was an appeal on a point of law and it's been
returned to the original court for a decision. This case may not be an
infringement, but other things in this general class of activity might
well be.)

Possibly not something we need to overly concern ourselves with, but
it's useful to know about these things.

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at

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