back to article Euro judges strengthen protections for database creators

A judgment by Europe’s highest court has strengthened the rights of database creators to protect their work from being used by third parties without permission. The database right protects against more than just copying and pasting, it ruled. The decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) means that the transfer of material …

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Listing sideways

If I were another professor of German Poetry of this period and had separately researched my own list of the most important 1,000 poems I would, presumably, come up with many entries in common with Prof Knoop's. Since I'm a rival academic, though, there would also be some I'd argue should be in his list and others that are worthless and should never have been included.

Would I not be able to use the ones I agree about in my own database (and the anthology I'm thinking of publishing), because they already exist on the Freiburg list? How many of them could I use before I was said to be infringing?

This seems to me to be a dangerous ruling, limiting research and surpressing difference of opinion, which is an important part of the academic method.

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Ok, but...

... what effect is this going to have on Screen Scraping services?

We've already seen in El Reg how Ryan Air have cancelled or refused to honour tickets that were booked through companies that do this (in order to allow customers to find the cheapest deals), now, it seems, this will give legitimacy to their actions and make life more difficult for the public to save money due to the "confusion marketing" techniques Ryan Air et al use.

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Anonymous Coward

Subprime IP rights

It's a subprime IP right. They simply made up a new right, said 'assemblies of public domain information are a protected IP right' and claimed it would create a bigger healthy database market in Europe.

And Europe's database market shrank.

Here this professor assembled a list of poems, he says it's worth €34,900, yet the University didn't make it into a product, it was just a list of poem titles.

After such a 'successful' new IP right, perhaps the EU should create the right of retailers to sell after sale adons to products. Buy your clock at Tescos, every battery for that clock must also come from Tescos.

Tescos could inflate the price and hence create 'growth' in Europe. They could buy and sell these exclusive rights to others.... buy the exclusive right to sell clock batteries to our customers, for 1 million Euros.

We could bundle packages of these rights and sell the top tier as a AAA bond even.

Heck, it's not what the customer will pay, it's what the lawyer can extract that's the value. Subprime IP rights.

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@Simon Williams

Even more important: isn't the collection of YOUR 1,000 poems (of which 846 are the same) a different aggregation? After all, I'm CERTAIN there's a book with the same words as I've used, though in a different order. And some that use most of these words in this order but with maybe some other words in between.

That's a new copyright.

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Phorm in breech of ECJ ruling?

My other name is Simple Simon, so please treat what follows with some scepticism.

Thanks to the generosity of companies such as Mozilla, Microsoft and Opera I have been provided with browsers that incorporate simple technology which automatically creates separate databases for my browsing history, bookmarks, etcetera.

The content of these databases is created by me alone, based on my choices and preferences assembled over a long period of time. Even if I type a new URL into the address bar or click a link, it has already been incorporated as a new record in the database before my request wings its way towards a distant DNS server. My database. My content. Ownership.

As anyone who has 'lost' their Bookmarks can confirm, the creation of such content is not a non-trivial exercise.

Professor Knoop and his academic colleagues seem to me to have established that ownership of a database containing creative content is protected from exploitation in the absence of a negotiated agreement. Does this ECJ judgement open up a new avenue of attack for those of us who are concerned about the exploitation of our private data by the scum bag trinity of Phorm, UKgov. and BT?

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@Simon Williams

In reply to: "If I were another professor of German Poetry of this period and had separately researched my own list":

Presumably if you could demonstrate the months/years of independent research to come up with your own list you would have a valid defence in court. But if it looks to the court that your research just consisted of reading Prof #1's list and making a few edits, then you have more of a problem.

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@Hugh McIntyre

When there's a degree of subjective input, such as deciding which poems should be included in the list, I can see your point, but what about this extension to the priniciple?

If I made a list of all the people ever recorded as having emigrated to New Zealand, which is a discrete list -- no subjective argument about who should be included, and if it were the first such list made, should that prevent anybody else making a list of these people? How much separate work would have to be done to show it was a different list, bearing in mind that the two lists should, by rights, have identical content.

We're not considering plaguerism, here, where you're copying the creative invention of another author. This is a collection of facts, which surely should be public domain.

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n

...and the rest

34,000 euros!!!!

could you not just claim that the value of the Academics poetry list does not reflect the true value of the work he produced, the academic would need to pay for unrelated goods such as never ending supplies of open toed sandals, hideous jumpers, beard insurance, airfares and expenses for conferences spuriously related to poetry, year subscription to the poetry society, poetry book club costs, expensive academic offices with associated costs for himself to drink coffee doinging "research", and "networking" with like minded free loafers.

At least you could insult the guys integrity as well as that of the funding body (who are no doubt funded by the taxpayer grrr) to make sure he doesn't get any further funding in the future.

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