Database rights

The Right 

Similar to, but independent of, copyright it is intended to protect compilations of data, e.g. sports fixture listings or telephone directories, where the threshold of ‘originality’ required for copyright protection may not be satisfied

Protection as a ‘database’ 

The data must be arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means


There must have been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the content of the database


Database protection is for 15 years

Interaction with Copyright

Copyright and the database right can co-exist in a database and we will advise on the best rights to rely on in the particular circumstances

Recent cases

  • Advising database owners on their right to prevent the extraction or re-utilisation of the content of their database  
  • Assignment of databases within a corporate group  
  • Possible ‘fair dealing’ where a database is used for educational purposes

Additional information