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Detailed guide: Sui generis database rights after the transition period

Government Digital Service

January 30
13:33 2020

Sui generis database rights were introduced by the Database Directive and provide database owners with the right to prevent the unauthorised copying or extraction of data from their databases in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Databases that involve a large investment in time, money or effort and were created by an EEA national, resident, or business currently receive automatic protection in all EEA member states.

The UK implemented the directive through the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997.

Database rights after the end of the transition period

UK citizens, residents, and businesses will no longer be eligible to receive or hold sui generis database rights in the EEA after the end of the transition period.

UK database owners may find that their rights are unenforceable in the EEA. If you own a database covered by database rights, consider whether you can rely on alternative means of protection for example licensing agreements or copyright, where applicable.

UK legislation will be amended so that only UK citizens, residents, and businesses are eligible for new database rights in the UK after the end of the transition period.

Existing database rights

Database rights that exist in the UK or EEA before the end of the transition period (whether held by UK or EEA persons or businesses) will continue to exist in the UK and EEA for the rest of their duration. These rights are guaranteed under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Those in the UK who wish to use databases protected by these rights will continue to need the permission of the right holder(s).

Published 30 January 2020

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