Recently there is a spurt of database theft reported in India especially from the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector by employees in India. Database protection and data protection is not distinguished in any legislations in India clearly. Compilation of data is not protected in India under any sui generis legislation unlike in the developed country like EU. Now the protection can be given under “literary work” under the Copyright Act 1957. Courts in India held that compilation of databases are protected under the Copyright Act as “literary work” as held by the Delhi High Court in Himalaya Drug Company v. Sumit. The objective of this chapter is to explore database protection in India through various legal provisions, including Article 21 and 300A of the Indian Constitution, Copyright Act 1957, the IT Act, 2000 and various international agreements to which India is a party. Other country practices like in EU and US are examined to find out the possibility of adapting appropriate protection in India. The Indian jurisprudence is analyzed closely to understand the judicial opinion on this issue in the recent past. It closely analyses the question of applicability of copyright law to the protection of databases. The study concludes by suggesting appropriate ways of protection of databases in India.
- Database protection