Database law

In article 1 of the Dutch Databases Act (Dbw) the legislator offers a definition of a database; the bottom line comes down to a large pack of cards with cards arranged by colours, whereby a substantial investment was made to put the pack of cards together. It is all about the gathering of data as such, and not about what is on the cards themselves. Because that is what copyright is there for. Database rights are created at the moment when production of it is completed and normally last fifteen years. The reality is that a collection of data is not always a database within the meaning of the law. And almost certainly not if it is about compilations made with the help of consulting a computer or other sorts of electronic data gathering created as a spin-off. But anyone holding so-called database rights has exclusive rights of exploitation within the European Economic Area, including granting licences for the querying and re-use of the database or a substantial part of it.

The producer of the database, or in fact the party bearing the risk for the investment to make the database, can demand that illegal use of his database be stopped via the court. Given the urgent nature of such cases, that will usually be an interim injunction. Illegal use is any act in conflict with normal exploitation of the database or that inflicts unjustified harm on the (commercial) interests of the producer. "Milking" a database, therefore, is also prohibited. Van Eeckhoutte is excellently equipped to tackle such offenders under civil law.