Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Protecting databases in Argentina

How are databases protected in Argentina? One basic tool for obtaining protection is the unfair competition legal regime, which seeks to prevent parasitic conduct that takes advantage of the efforts of others. Since the taking advantage of others' efforts by means of parasitic activities is generally considered unfair. In the case of databases, the effort refers to the required investment of time and economic resources in compiling the database. However, Argentina's unfair competition legal framework, being made up of isolated rules, does not constitute a cohesive regime and judicial enforcement is rare.

Protection can also be obtained under the law of contract, but contractual provisions are un enforceable against third parties that are not bound by a database's licence terms.

Databases are also given substantial protection under the Copyright Law. However, it is generally believed that the protection granted by copyright law is exclusively limited to original databases.

In several court judgments (for example Errepar and Axesor, a decision under criminal law) the courts have acknowledged the need to provide protection for database creators who have suffered loss through the parasitic activities of competitors trying to take advantage of their efforts and investment.

Source: "Legal protection for databases", written by Daniel R Zuccherino (Obligado & Cia) for International Law Office here. This article reviews the subject in depth and discusses the position in terms of the Berne Convention and TRIPS too.

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