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Database Protection in India: Need for Reforms

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Database protection
  • Copyright
  • India

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Copyright and Databases.

  2. 2.

    Report on Legal Protection for Databases.

  3. 3.

    Study on Copyright Piracy in India.

  4. 4.

    Article 10(2) of TRIPs, https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/t_agm3_e.htm, visited on 21.02.2016.

  5. 5.

    Existing National and Regional Legislation Concerning Intellectual Property in Databases.

  6. 6.

    HSBC case.

  7. 7.

    Ministry of Communication, Government of India Notification dated 11 April 2011.

  8. 8.

    Apar Gupta 2007.

  9. 9.

    AIR 2001 (Delhi) 203.

  10. 10.

    (1890) ILR 17 (Cal) 951, 961.

  11. 11.

    AIR 1955 (Mad) 391.

  12. 12.

    [1916] 2 Chap. 601.

  13. 13.

    [1964] 1 WLR 273 (HL).

  14. 14.

    12th December 2007.

  15. 15.

    (1915) 2 Chap. 376.

  16. 16.

    Shyamlal Paharia & Anr v. Gaya Prasad Gupta ‘Rasal,’ AIR 1971 All 192.

  17. 17.

    61 (1996) DLT 6.

  18. 18.

    126 (2006) DLT 23, 2006 (32) PTC 112 Del.

  19. 19.

    130 (2006) DLT 330, 2006 (32) PTC 609 Del.

  20. 20.

    17 U.S.C. ş 101.

  21. 21.

    17 U.S.C. § 103(b).

  22. 22.

    The Future of Database Protection in US Copyright Law 2001.

  23. 23.

    499 U.S. 340 (1991).

  24. 24.

    248 US 215 (1918).

  25. 25.

    United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, decided on 20th June 1996.

  26. 26.

    Database Legal Protection.

  27. 27.

    44 F.3d 61 (2d Cir. 1994).

  28. 28.

    Ibid.

  29. 29.

    United States Court of Appeal, Kregos II, 937 F.2d at 710.

  30. 30.

    945 F.2d at 513–514 (2d Cir. 1991)

  31. 31.

    936 F.2d 671 (2d Cir. 1991).

  32. 32.

    1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6915.

  33. 33.

    115 F.3d 1509 (11th Cir. 1997).

  34. 34.

    Alexandria Drafting Co. v. Amsterdam, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8197.

  35. 35.

    991 F.2d 417.

  36. 36.

    799 F.2d 1219 (8th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1070 (1987).

  37. 37.

    Directive 96/9/EC, 1996.

  38. 38.

    The EU Single Market.

  39. 39.

    Article 1(2) of the Directive.

  40. 40.

    Fixtures Marketing Ltd. v. Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Podosfairou EG (2004) ECR I-10549 (paras 29–30), C-444/02.

  41. 41.

    Jan 4, 1991 - HR 04-01-1991, NJ 1991, 608.

  42. 42.

    Case C-338/02, Fixtures Marketing Ltd. v. Svenska Spel AB, 2004 ECR I-10479; Case C-444/02, Fixtures Marketing Ltd. v. Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Podosfairou, 2004 ECR I-10549; Fixtures Marketing Ltd. v. Veikkaus AB, 2004 ECR I-10365; Case C-203/02, British Horseracing Bd. Ltd. v. William Hill Org. Ltd., 2004 ECR I-10415.

  43. 43.

    C-203/02, British Horseracing Board Ltd. v. William Hill Org. Ltd., 2004 ECR I-10415, Judgment dated November 9, 2004.

  44. 44.

    (C-173/11).

  45. 45.

    Mathew Bender & CO v. West Publishing Co. See also Nelson 1999.

  46. 46.

    Waterlow Publishers Ltd v Rose The Times 8 Dec 1989.

  47. 47.

    Incassoprogramm decision of 9 May 1985 of German Federal Court.

  48. 48.

    96/9/EC, 11 March 1996.

  49. 49.

    NVM v. De Telegraaf, Judgment dated 12 September 2000.

  50. 50.

    Algemeen Dagblad a.o. v. Eureka, Judgment dated 22 August 2000.

  51. 51.

    Danish Newspaper Organization v. Newsbooster, Copenhagen Court, Judgment dated 24 June 2002.

  52. 52.

    Copiepresse v. Google Inc., Court of First Instance, Brussels, Judgment dated 5 September 2006.

  53. 53.

    Manap et al. 2012.

  54. 54.

    C-30/14.

  55. 55.

    C-490/14, judgment dated 29 October 2015.

  56. 56.

    Schneider 1998.

  57. 57.

    Powell 1996.

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Raju, K.D. (2017). Database Protection in India: Need for Reforms. In: Sinha, M., Mahalwar, V. (eds) Copyright Law in the Digital World. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3984-3_10

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