Requiem for the sui generis Database Right?

(Via Andrew Adams) The long-awaited report on the European Database right has now been issued. The study provides some very strong evidence against the right, as it seems that database production in Europe has actually decreased since its implementation, while production in the United States for the same period, and without having a right, has increased. The report says:

“The second problem with the “sui generis” right is that its economic impact on database production is unproven. Introduced to stimulate the growth of databases in Europe, the new instrument has had no proven impact on the production of databases. According to the Gale Directory of Databases, the number of EU-based database “entries” was 3095 in 2004 as compared to 3092 in 1998 when the first Member States had implemented the “sui generis” protection into national laws. More significantly, the number of database “entries” dropped just as most of the EU-15 Member States had implemented the Directive into national laws in 2001. In 2001, there were 4085 EU-based “entries” while in 2004 there were only 3095.”

The report offers four different policy options, and the arguments in their favour:

Option 1: Repeal the whole Directive
Option 2: Withdraw the “sui generis” right
Option 3: Amend the “sui generis” provisions
Option 4: Maintaining the status quo

Stay tuned.

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