Monica Lupaşcu*


This research focuses on databases are regulated under Directive 96/9/EC on the legal protection of databases. There also are multiple references to Law no.8/1996 on copyright and related rights, implementing the provisions in the aforementioned directive. The work mainly analyzes certain effects that sui‑generis protection has over the public domain.The research attempts to demonstrate that the current regulation of the databases actually neglects the interests correlated to the public domain. The effect of such a legal text is that it leads to the abusive development of databases where the public domain (i.e., any unprotected piece of information, such as news, ideas, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, etc.) becomes encapsulated, making it available for certain private interests only, the access to the same being thus indirectly regulated. The paper starts by explaining the sui‑generis right and its origin. Databases were first mentioned in the document “Green Paper on Copyright (1998)”, which clearly shows that database protection was developed to cover the information that cannot be protected in the scientific and industrial field.To support the opinion regarding the impact upon the public domain, the author brings certain arguments, most of them relying on the First Report regarding the Public Consultation of 2004 regarding the necessity of the sui‑generis right. Certain references are made to some specific cases, such as “British Houseracing Board versus William Hill and Fixture Marketing Ldt”. The ruling of the ECJ in this case is of great relevance with regards to the support of the public access to information corresponding to restrictive environments resulting from the activity of the database developer, because, in the absence of the sui‑generis right, all this information could be freely accessible and used. 

* Doctorand, Universitatea „Nicolae Titulescu” Bucureşti, e‑mail:monica.lupascu@