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EU - public consultation on Database Directive

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The Database Directive, adopted in 1996, aims at encouraging the development of databases through appropriate legal protection and the use of data. The Commission launches today a consultation to understand better how the Database Directive is used, to evaluate its impact on users and to identify possible needs of adjustment. Since the entry into force of the Directive, the database market, and more generally the role of data in the economy, has evolved. The Commission has recently presented several initiatives to boost the European data economy.

The Directive on the legal protection of databases provides for two types of protection for databases. Firstly, databases can be protected, when original, under copyright law. Secondly, databases for which a substantial investment has been made can benefit from the "sui generis" protection. Owners of protected databases can prevent reproduction, communication, extraction or re-use of their database content on the basis of the protection granted by this directive. The directive also guarantees rights to the users, including the provision of specific exceptions in the fields of teaching, scientific research, public security or for private purposes.

The Commission has recently presented several initiatives to foster European data economy. In this context the objectives of the directive translate into increasing legal certainty for database makers and users and at enhancing the re-use of data. Evidence regarding the application and effects of the directive is however very scarce. It is therefore necessary to gather information on the functioning of the directive to assess its impact on relevant stakeholders, the data market and to identify possible needs of adjustment.

The public consultation is open from 24 May until 30 August 2017.

Once the Commission has reviewed the submissions, it will decide on the next steps to take.

> Public consultation

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