Data sets and databases that lack a relevant component of originality are not protected by Copyright in the EU. However, a Directive from 1993 establishes what became known as Databases rights, protecting databases for the material and human efforts invested in their creation.

Paragraph 3 of Article 7 states:

  1. The right referred to in paragraph 1 may be transferred, assigned or granted under contractual licence.

Does this means that an open source licence can be applied to a data set under Databases rights?

  • Could someone please add a tag for the EU (e.g. eu) to this question? I do not have enough reputation points. – Luís de Sousa Nov 23 '16 at 7:54
  • Done, but not quite. I'm somewhat reluctant to put a region tag here, but I think [sui-generis-rights] would fit well (I'm pretty sure that's what they are called). Besides, welcome to Open Source :D – Zizouz212 Nov 24 '16 at 1:43
  • (Oh, and as a side note, I'm getting an Access Denied on your link...) – Zizouz212 Nov 24 '16 at 1:44
  • Thank you for the tags. I checked the link again, it is correct. – Luís de Sousa Nov 24 '16 at 13:10

Does this means that an open source licence can be applied to a data set under Databases rights?

Yes. With the caveat that these database rights may not be recognized everywhere and therefore may be problematic to apply internationally.

  • You are talking about a potential specific license that would be talking about these database rights and not a generic license that was designed for copyright, aren't you? – Zimm i48 Nov 24 '16 at 12:23
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    Can you somehow substantiate your answer? Just the "Yes" part, naturally, European law only applies to the EU. – Luís de Sousa Nov 24 '16 at 13:14
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    @LuísdeSousa The CC 4.0 licenses address Sui generis rights specifically. I can get an answer soon, but I'm at school so... It might take a while :) – Zizouz212 Nov 24 '16 at 14:07
  • The Creative Commons suite is not entirely compatible with EU law, as far as I am aware. But I would like to have your answer in any case. – Luís de Sousa Nov 24 '16 at 14:18

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