EU database directive

Subject: EU database directive
From: Emanuella Giavarra (
Date: ma 11 marras 1996 - 19:52:55 EET

Dear list members,

As you may know, on 11 March 1996 the Directive on the legal
protection of databases was adopted by the Council of Ministers.
This Directive is due to be implemented into your national legislation
before 1 January 1998.

This seems a long time from now, but the proposals for the implementation in
national legislation are being prepared at this moment by the civil servants of
the responsible national departments.
In general, the Directive creates a new exclusive ‘sui generis’ right
for database creators, valid for 15 years, to protect their investment
of time, money and effort, irrespective of whether the database is in
itself innovative.

The Directive provides also for harmonisation of elements of
copyright law applicable to the structure of databases. The
Directive’s provisions apply to both electronic and paper-based

According to the European Commission spokesman, this Directive
strikes a balance between the interests of the manufacturers of
databases and the legitimate interests of their users. He continues by
saying that particular account has been taken of situations in which
the extraction of contents of databases is required for teaching
purposes as well as for scientific research.

This is only partly true. Article 6 and 9 of the Directive give the
exceptions to the restricted acts covered by the Directive. In both
Articles it is up to the Member States to regulate for the exceptions.

This means that the national library associations have to advise their
governments to include in the national legislation the options given in
the Directive.

What I am interested in, is if you have already been consulted by your
government to respond to their proposals for the implementation of the
Directive in your national copyright law?

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra

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