ECJ erodes the database right

The ECJ has returned rulings on four different cases that seriously diminish the claims of companies that claim that the investment in synthesizing data compiled in a database does not count as substantial investment as required by the Database Directive.

In each case brought before the court, an organizer of sporting events (one horseracing and three football organisers) sought database right protection for sporting event schedules against providers of gambling services. The ECJ refused to find that the organisers were incurring in substantial investment by arranging the information.

For example, Fixtures Marketing Limited processes fixtures information for English and Scottish football leagues. They sued three betting providers alleging that their fixtures were substantial investment. The ECJ did not buy the argument. See this case as an example of the reasoning used. You can also found the ruling here.

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