Discounting the Sweat of the Brow: Converging International Standards for Electronic Database Protection
[University of San Francisco] Intellectual Property Law Bulletin, 15 I.P.L.B. 111 (2011)
15 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2010 Last revised: 11 Mar 2014
Date Written: November 15, 2010
Despite some historically stark differences in the standard of originality between jurisdictions that require skill, labor, and investment and those which require “higher” standards – such as requiring a work to exhibit creativity or the personality of its author – recent trends have put international standards of originality for database purposes on a convergent course. In many jurisdictions, the required level of originality has been in some state of flux in recent years, and the recent trend in to back away from an originality standard based purely on industrious collection, labor and expense, or other forms of sweat of the brow principles has necessarily resulted in rising thresholds of originality in respect of databases and factual compilations. In regard to copyright, many jurisdictions now appear to require an element in addition to requiring that a work originate with its author. Regardless of potential differences in practical effect, these standards represent a drastic shift from the long-held industrious collection ideals that have permeated copyright jurisprudence in the common law world for well over a hundred years, and present a clear picture of standards on convergent paths.
Keywords: Copyright, Database, Compilations Originality, Creativity, Industrious Collection, Sweat Of The Brow, Common Law, Law, Author
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