German High Court Says That TV Schedule Info Is Covered By Copyright; TV Listings Sites Have To Pay

from the copyrighting-facts? dept

I still can't comprehend arguments in favor of allowing copyrights on facts. However, over in Europe they do allow copyrighting of facts if they're in a database, using so-called database rights. Of course, there's a big problem with such things. Contrary to the claim that database rights encourage a bigger database industry, the evidence (just like copyright and patents) points out that the opposite is true. And yet, Europe keeps believing in database rights. techflaws.org points us to a recent High Court ruling in Germany claiming that TV listings are covered by copyright and thus websites that display the factual information of what the TV schedule is have to pay up. In other words, it's going to become harder to find out what time shows are on TV, meaning that fewer people will watch TV. How does this help anyone?
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Filed Under: copyright, germany, tv listings


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  1. identicon
    :), 22 Dec 2009 @ 11:38pm

    Crowdsourcing listing.

    People could easily crowd-source such a database but under the current law people can't do it such a shame.

    I imagine that and app that put train and buses schedules would be forbidden too.

    An example of a crowd-sourced database is thetvdb.com :)

    There are many others.
    Lets see what OpenStreetMap have done to databases:

    - openseamap.org
    - informationfreeway.org
    - topo.geofabrik.de
    - yournavigation.org
    - free-map.org.uk
    - yournavigation.org
    - openrouteservice.org
    - öpnvkarte.de

    It is even used by the monopoly game.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/171610/monopoly_city_streets_online_game_will_buying_park_plac e_be_any_easier.html

    TV.com is making a lot of money started as a fan source database and was bought damn and have various competitors that keep it real.

    Some websites have to scrap 3 or more to find other relevant data. Besides all databases are scrapes of information from others what makes people think they have ownership on facts?

    Is ridiculous how the german court interpreted the thing.

    http://www.unc.edu/courses/2006spring/law/357c/001/projects/dougf/node13.html#SECTION00032 100000000000000

    "Lessons

    So what, if anything, does the Directive actually protect? Although the Directive’s stated purpose is to provide protection for investments in databases, it appears to provide very little such protection. A provider of valuable data in particular cannot look to the Directive for protection of that data. The copyright protections do not extend to the contents of a database; the sui generis protection will not apply to data that is “created” rather than “gathered”; and where independent existing data is gathered but subsequently takes on some official nature due to marketing or “stamps of official approval”, it ceases to be independent existing data and becomes something else, also losing sui generis protection in the process. It is somewhat difficult to see how BHB could have packaged its database product differently, in order to qualify for protection under the Directive. "


    What the court did in fact was extend something that was not envisage in the initial law.


    WIPO Draft:
    The draft was met with substantial opposition, both from academics and from developing countries, both of which groups rely to a large extent on free access to data, and both of which feared that the Draft provisions would unacceptably restrict access to facts. The Draft was not adopted in the session, and while the topic of database protection remains a discussion topic on WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, no international treaty specific to databases has been adopted.


    Wanna bet that schools in germany are suffering because of this kind of interpretation of the law?

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