The Paradoxes of Open Data and How to Get Rid of It? Analysing the Interplay between Open Data and Sui-Generis Rights on Databases
International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Oxford University Press. 2015, 0, 1-22.
22 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016
Date Written: June 4, 2015
Open Data is an important public policy that contributes to achieving greater transparency and broader access to information, more citizen participation and engagement, while also supporting innovation and economic growth. The pace at which the Open Data movement is spreading in different fields of endeavour can be taken as an illustration that society is evolving towards greater openness, transparency and accountability. Yet, several constraints and legal uncertainties subsist beyond the facade of Open Data. This article investigates different layers of rights that regulate the use and re-use of data: from the copyright vesting in the content and/or structure of a particular dataset, to the sui-generis right protecting against the substantial reproduction and/or extraction of the content of a database. The objective is, ultimately, to illustrate the conflictual relationship that subsists between the underlying principles of Open Data, which purports to promote the free use and re-use of information, and the underlying legal system, whose provisions are increasingly relied upon to establish an exclusive right on public sector information.
Keywords: open data, sui-generis right, copyright, public sector information, transparency
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