Greater protection for database owners

  • Posted

Posted 26/09/2012

A recent high court case has reversed a trend that appeared to be diminishing the rights of database owners in the databases they created. In the case of Football Dataco v Sportradar and Football Dataco v Stan James, the High Court has held that databases can be protected from the extraction or re-use of information where factual data is collected and available to all.

Football Dataco collated a wide range of data relating to events at football games and stored this data in their ‘Football Live’ database.  Sportradar took information from the Football Live database and stored this information on servers based in Austria.  Sportradar then sold the information to betting websites via their ‘Live Scores’ service.  The betting websites allowed their customers to download the information contained on the Live Scores service.

Football Dataco successfully argued that the customers, the betting websites and Sportradar had infringed the database rights of Football Dataco.

The distinction in this case compared to some of the previous cases in this area, lay in the nature of the information collated and how it is collated.  In essence, database rights were held to exist in favour of Football Dataco as the data was available through other means and the Football Live database was just making access and identification of the data easier.  In contrast, a database that was created to monopolise the information and restrict access to it would be looked upon less favourably.

Clearly whether or not database rights exist will depend on the circumstances of each case. Should you wish to discuss this in more detail please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Corporate and Commercial team.


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