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The legal status of research data
(copyright, database right)
Joris DEENE
Advocaat Everest Advocaten
29/02/2016
Legal status of research data
Titel
Legal status of research data
4
Raw research data : relevant to other researchers (for new research, new
publications.)
Definition of research data : very broad term (definitions in the humanities
vs in the natural sciences; data vs metadata)
Legal definition of data:
- bare facts are basically free
- if facts have been put into a certain form (copyright protection)
- if facts constitute a protected database or data collection
(data base protection).
Research data : both bare facts and protected data
Envisaging the situation of a researcher who wishes to make use of other
people’s data for a new study of his own
Copyright
Titel
Copyright
6
Book XI (Title 5 – copyright) Code of Economic Law
Bare facts are free; they belong to the domain of knowledge,
which is a public good
Only protection to the form in which the bare facts are written
down
Research data can generally be categorized as bare facts.
Scientific/scholarly knowledge cannot be monopolized: a researcher
does not have an exclusive right to utilize the data that he has
discovered.
Titel
When may research data be
protected by copyright?
7
Research data may be copyright-protected if it has been processed
in ‘a work’ (a certain form, eg a table/diagram/text), and the author
had freedom of choice (personal stamp) which he exercised in a
manner of his own (not borrowed from other works).
As a rule of thumb, one can ask whether it is conceivable that two
different authors, working separately, could have arrived at precisely
the same form. If that is in fact conceivable, then the work
concerned will not usually enjoy copyright protection
Titel
What actions require consent?
8
Even though data may be copyright-protected, the following
actions can still generally be carried out without consent:
- incorporation of the factual data in one’s own words in a structure
of one’s own
- making a copy (including a digital copy) and utilizing that copy for
one’s own research, as long as it is not made available to others
(article, graphic works, short fragments of other works)
- Citing from the research data
- Legislation and jurisprudence
Titel
What actions require consent?
9
Consent is therefore necessary for other types of use of copyright-
protected data (or data collections). This may involve such things
as:
- inclusion of the research data in a publication
- sharing the research data with other people
- Including the whole of the research data in a database of one’s
own that is also shared with other people
Database right
TitelDatabase right
11
Book XI (Title 7 – Databases) Code Economic Law
Titel
When is research data protected by
database right
12
Legal definition of a database (highly specific)
A collection of separate items of data may constitute a protected
database if those items are systematically arranged or are
traceable in some other manner.
It is also necessary for creation of the database to have involved a
substantial investment. The investment made in researching and
creating the data that is included in the database does not count
towards that substantial investment
If there is no substantial investment, then the collection of data
is not a database from the legal point of view, even thought it
may be considered to be one in normal usage
Titel
When is research data protected by
database right?
13
Belgian law requires three conditions
- The database must consist of independent items
- The database must be searchable or systematically arranged so
that individual items can be traced
- There must have been a substantial investment in the database
Titel
When is research data protected by
database right?
14
Collection
A collection containing works, data, or other independent items
includes research data (both bare facts and copyright-
protected data)
The materials in the collection need to be independent = it must
be possible to separate them without their losing their substantive
value or meaning
The law does not impose any requirements regarding the size of
the collection
A database does not have to be in electronic form.
Titel
When is research data protected by
database right?
15
Searchability
A database must comprise a method or system that makes it
possible to access each of the items in the database individually
like an arrangement or indexation that allows each item to be
traced
Titel
When is research data protected by
database right?
16
Substantial investment
It involves investment in:
- obtaining (collecting) the contents of the database
- presenting the contents
- verifying the contents
The investment made in researching and creating (producing,
discovering) the data that is included in the database does not
count towards that substantial investment !!!
database comprising research data : al lot of investment
in the research itself and thus in ‘creating’ the data; that
investment does not count
TitelWhat actions require consent?
17
If there is in fact a protected database, the producer’s consent is
required for the following actions:
- Retrieving (i.e. copying or downloading) substantial portions
of the database
- Repeatedly and systematically retrieving non-substantial
portions of the database
- Reusing (i.e. publish) substantial portions of the database
TitelWhat actions require consent?
18
The producer’s consent is not necessary for:
- Using a database for scientific/scholarly research if no
substantial portions of the database are published (reused)
Schematic overview
TitelQuestion 1-2
20
Question 1 : Do you want to make a copy for you own use ?
You do not need to seek consent
Question 2 : Do you want to input data into your own
scientific/scholarly database, without sharing it with
anyone other than your own team or researchers?
You do not need to seek consent
(Even if the data is protected by copyright or database right, this type of
use is on of the permitted exceptions : making a copy for your own of a
copy-protected work or retrieving substantial portions of a database in
the context of scientific/scholarly research (retrieving non –substantial
portions does not require consent in any case))
TitelQuestion 3
21
Question 3 : Do you want to publish some of the data that
you are borrowing or to share it with someone other than
your own team of researchers ?
You probably need to secure the author’s consent
TitelQuestion 3
22
A. Check whether copyright applies
- Does the research data have an original character of its
own and bear the personal stamp of the author? (tip: is it
conceivable that two different authors, working separately, could
have arrived at precisely the same form?)
Copyright applies and you need to secure the consent of
the author
(The decisive point is therefore whether the author had freedom of choice in
arranging the data in a particular form and whether he did this – deliberately
or otherwise – on the basis of personal preference. Even just a selection
consistently solely of bare facts may be subject to copyright protection)
TitelQuestion 3
23
B. Check whether database right applies
- Are you dealing with a collection of independent materials
(research data)? Is the data collection arranged
systematically? Has there been a substantial investment in
obtaining, verifying, or presenting the materials? (the
investment in carrying out the research that generates the data
does not count)
Database right applies and you need to secure the
consent of the producer
TitelQuestion 4
24
Question 4 (copyright): Do you intend publishing the
protected data that you have borrowed in some way, or
making it available to other people in some other way?
Copyright applies and you need to secure the consent of
the author
(In cases as this, the law speaks of publication. Other people’s data can only
be copied or utilized for the purpose of your own research without the
author’s consent if it not published)
TitelQuestion 5-6
25
Question 5 (copyright) : Are you dealing with the right to
cite, official government acts, the all-inclusive form, a
selection of bare facts or other types of data (non-original
photos etc.)?
Copyright law exception, you do not need to secure consent
Question 6 (database) : Do you intend not only borrowing
data from the database for your own research but also
publishing it further, for example in a publication, or do
you intend sharing your own material (which will then
include the data you have borrowed) with other people?
Database right applies and you need to secure the consent of
the producer
TitelQuestion 7
26
Question 7 (database) : Do you intend reusing (publishing)
a substantial portion of the database?
There are no clear criteria for what constitutes a ‘substantial’
portion. It is necessary to consider the relationship between the
reused portion and the database as a whole, as well as the technical
and economic value of the reused portion.
Conclusion
Questions?
Info:
joris.deene@everest-law.be
+32 9 334 94 73
Everest offers you high quality
through specialisation and experience,
both local and international.
www.everest-law.be

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OpenAire Sessions - Joris Deene

  • 1.
  • 2. The legal status of research data (copyright, database right) Joris DEENE Advocaat Everest Advocaten 29/02/2016
  • 3. Legal status of research data
  • 4. Titel Legal status of research data 4 Raw research data : relevant to other researchers (for new research, new publications.) Definition of research data : very broad term (definitions in the humanities vs in the natural sciences; data vs metadata) Legal definition of data: - bare facts are basically free - if facts have been put into a certain form (copyright protection) - if facts constitute a protected database or data collection (data base protection). Research data : both bare facts and protected data Envisaging the situation of a researcher who wishes to make use of other people’s data for a new study of his own
  • 6. Titel Copyright 6 Book XI (Title 5 – copyright) Code of Economic Law Bare facts are free; they belong to the domain of knowledge, which is a public good Only protection to the form in which the bare facts are written down Research data can generally be categorized as bare facts. Scientific/scholarly knowledge cannot be monopolized: a researcher does not have an exclusive right to utilize the data that he has discovered.
  • 7. Titel When may research data be protected by copyright? 7 Research data may be copyright-protected if it has been processed in ‘a work’ (a certain form, eg a table/diagram/text), and the author had freedom of choice (personal stamp) which he exercised in a manner of his own (not borrowed from other works). As a rule of thumb, one can ask whether it is conceivable that two different authors, working separately, could have arrived at precisely the same form. If that is in fact conceivable, then the work concerned will not usually enjoy copyright protection
  • 8. Titel What actions require consent? 8 Even though data may be copyright-protected, the following actions can still generally be carried out without consent: - incorporation of the factual data in one’s own words in a structure of one’s own - making a copy (including a digital copy) and utilizing that copy for one’s own research, as long as it is not made available to others (article, graphic works, short fragments of other works) - Citing from the research data - Legislation and jurisprudence
  • 9. Titel What actions require consent? 9 Consent is therefore necessary for other types of use of copyright- protected data (or data collections). This may involve such things as: - inclusion of the research data in a publication - sharing the research data with other people - Including the whole of the research data in a database of one’s own that is also shared with other people
  • 11. TitelDatabase right 11 Book XI (Title 7 – Databases) Code Economic Law
  • 12. Titel When is research data protected by database right 12 Legal definition of a database (highly specific) A collection of separate items of data may constitute a protected database if those items are systematically arranged or are traceable in some other manner. It is also necessary for creation of the database to have involved a substantial investment. The investment made in researching and creating the data that is included in the database does not count towards that substantial investment If there is no substantial investment, then the collection of data is not a database from the legal point of view, even thought it may be considered to be one in normal usage
  • 13. Titel When is research data protected by database right? 13 Belgian law requires three conditions - The database must consist of independent items - The database must be searchable or systematically arranged so that individual items can be traced - There must have been a substantial investment in the database
  • 14. Titel When is research data protected by database right? 14 Collection A collection containing works, data, or other independent items includes research data (both bare facts and copyright- protected data) The materials in the collection need to be independent = it must be possible to separate them without their losing their substantive value or meaning The law does not impose any requirements regarding the size of the collection A database does not have to be in electronic form.
  • 15. Titel When is research data protected by database right? 15 Searchability A database must comprise a method or system that makes it possible to access each of the items in the database individually like an arrangement or indexation that allows each item to be traced
  • 16. Titel When is research data protected by database right? 16 Substantial investment It involves investment in: - obtaining (collecting) the contents of the database - presenting the contents - verifying the contents The investment made in researching and creating (producing, discovering) the data that is included in the database does not count towards that substantial investment !!! database comprising research data : al lot of investment in the research itself and thus in ‘creating’ the data; that investment does not count
  • 17. TitelWhat actions require consent? 17 If there is in fact a protected database, the producer’s consent is required for the following actions: - Retrieving (i.e. copying or downloading) substantial portions of the database - Repeatedly and systematically retrieving non-substantial portions of the database - Reusing (i.e. publish) substantial portions of the database
  • 18. TitelWhat actions require consent? 18 The producer’s consent is not necessary for: - Using a database for scientific/scholarly research if no substantial portions of the database are published (reused)
  • 20. TitelQuestion 1-2 20 Question 1 : Do you want to make a copy for you own use ? You do not need to seek consent Question 2 : Do you want to input data into your own scientific/scholarly database, without sharing it with anyone other than your own team or researchers? You do not need to seek consent (Even if the data is protected by copyright or database right, this type of use is on of the permitted exceptions : making a copy for your own of a copy-protected work or retrieving substantial portions of a database in the context of scientific/scholarly research (retrieving non –substantial portions does not require consent in any case))
  • 21. TitelQuestion 3 21 Question 3 : Do you want to publish some of the data that you are borrowing or to share it with someone other than your own team of researchers ? You probably need to secure the author’s consent
  • 22. TitelQuestion 3 22 A. Check whether copyright applies - Does the research data have an original character of its own and bear the personal stamp of the author? (tip: is it conceivable that two different authors, working separately, could have arrived at precisely the same form?) Copyright applies and you need to secure the consent of the author (The decisive point is therefore whether the author had freedom of choice in arranging the data in a particular form and whether he did this – deliberately or otherwise – on the basis of personal preference. Even just a selection consistently solely of bare facts may be subject to copyright protection)
  • 23. TitelQuestion 3 23 B. Check whether database right applies - Are you dealing with a collection of independent materials (research data)? Is the data collection arranged systematically? Has there been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying, or presenting the materials? (the investment in carrying out the research that generates the data does not count) Database right applies and you need to secure the consent of the producer
  • 24. TitelQuestion 4 24 Question 4 (copyright): Do you intend publishing the protected data that you have borrowed in some way, or making it available to other people in some other way? Copyright applies and you need to secure the consent of the author (In cases as this, the law speaks of publication. Other people’s data can only be copied or utilized for the purpose of your own research without the author’s consent if it not published)
  • 25. TitelQuestion 5-6 25 Question 5 (copyright) : Are you dealing with the right to cite, official government acts, the all-inclusive form, a selection of bare facts or other types of data (non-original photos etc.)? Copyright law exception, you do not need to secure consent Question 6 (database) : Do you intend not only borrowing data from the database for your own research but also publishing it further, for example in a publication, or do you intend sharing your own material (which will then include the data you have borrowed) with other people? Database right applies and you need to secure the consent of the producer
  • 26. TitelQuestion 7 26 Question 7 (database) : Do you intend reusing (publishing) a substantial portion of the database? There are no clear criteria for what constitutes a ‘substantial’ portion. It is necessary to consider the relationship between the reused portion and the database as a whole, as well as the technical and economic value of the reused portion.
  • 28. Everest offers you high quality through specialisation and experience, both local and international. www.everest-law.be