Legal protection of databases in the European Union

Copyright laws protect the unique manifestation, unique formulation of an idea/information. In case of databases protection refers to the way of systematisation and/or selection, not the data themselves. The amendment to the Berne Convention dealt with the issue of the legal protection of databases, the Rome Convention extended protection to the owner of the physical manifestation of the intellectual product, while the WIPO Contract declared unanimously that computer programmes need to be protected in the same way as literary works.
A separate legal regulation for databases was justified by copyright itself not being apt for the efficient protection of collections of this type.
The copyright of databases has been harmonised at the European level by the Directive 96/9/EC, introducing the concept of sui generis rights. Following the so-called Infosoc Directive (2001/29 EC on databases) the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and neighbouring rights has started.
The author sets out the logics of database protection, the semantics of the Directive on databases (scope of reference, two-level copyright protection), and presents the practice of applying the Directive in some European countries. The analyses of individual legal cases provide assistance to the refinement of the sui generis protection regarding content. In concrete legal situations the deficiencies of the Directive become visible, by whose correction the content of the Directive can be made more exact. In the second part of the article the author cites real cases from international practice, and explains the concepts of substantial investment and extraction of a substantial part.

Copyright protection of databases in Hungary

The essay complements Tünde Vranyecz’s article about the European practice of database law (see p. 241–256.) by presenting the practice of the legal regulation of databases in Hungary.
In Hungary databases are covered by Section VII of the Copyright Law LXXVI of 1999. The general definition of a database implies the database qualified as collective work which is given sui generis protection. A database may consist of independent works, scientific or art works and data of other type. Databases qualified as collective works enjoy protection if the systematic arrangement of their content or its selection is unique. If a database is not an edited collection but the compilation of its content required substantial investment, it is given associated legal protection. The holder of copyright is the compiler and the producer respectively. The period of protection is 70 years.
To illustrate the main issues of database law the author quotes examples from the library-related statements of the Copyright Expert Body (e.g. on the digital archiving of serial publications from Hungary and abroad). Hungarian legal regulations provide sui generis protection as well for databases, in harmony with the EU Directive.

Trends and copyright issues in the world of digital media provision

The author analyses the state of the art of surface digital programme transmission in Hungary. The changeover to digital television enables – as a result of compression technology – a more rational frequency economy. The standardised ways of compression are ensured by DBV standards for cable, satellite and local mobile television. In Hungary the most advanced MPEG4 transmission was introduced. The new television sets possess built-in decoding equipment, but in principle the broadcasts can be received by external decoders (such as computers) as well. Because of the lobby activites of mobile providers, not paying attention to the related needs of surface transmission, the current system has been scaled to the obsolete roof antenna system, and as a result, free surface reception of the mobile type (by a laptop, portable television) is not accessible, and the opportunity for reception of television broadcasts by room antenna ceases as well. The model introduced has not taken European trends into account, and did not respect the media using habits of young people either. This situation warns libraries that they should focus their attention both on the modern technological environment and on user needs. The author presents how users can circumvent the obstacles set by international copyright regulations through combining satellite and internet programme broadcasting. The gradual digitisation of satellite television was accompanied by the spreading of the spirit of open source codes and technology. Using specialised computers it is possible to duplicate and share broadcast programmes, and consequently, content provision by satellite is expected to face serious problems because of the opportunity of file exchange, as had already been the case with film producers and musicians. In the author’s view the trouble is caused by the application of nation-based copyright in individual countries. If a channel broadcasts a territorially-based product, it should be provided with a geographic coding, and a contract should be concluded with all those concerned.
The young generation, eager to share content tries, however, to disregard regulations based on authors and geographic aspects respectively. In order to avoid criminal offense sooner or later it becomes necessary to reconsider copyright and transmission rights.


Máté Kovács and care for talents

During Professor Máté Kovács’ (1906-1972) career and his multifaceted professional activities talent management was given a special emphasis. As a student having been on a scholarship in France, later as a leading professional of culture he could experience the importance of caring for talents (e.g. as a fellow of the Collegium Hungaricum Federation, in his relationship with Professor János Hankiss, when organising the Debrecen Summer University etc.).
Having dealt with the theory of talent management he turned his ideas into practice in a realistic and efficient manner, and the relevant results can be detected in almost all spheres of his activity. In the early years when he acted as a secondary school teacher his efforts manifested themselves in the efficient operation of self-education circles, later as state secretary of the relevant ministry – in modernising public education, in formulating unity in librarianship, in reforming education for librarianship, and as a library director – in promoting research work. His activities contributed to the equality of chances, to the cultural rise of socially disadvantaged young people among the political, technical and cultural relations of the forties-sixties.

Máté Kovács and the Yearbook of the Debrecen University Library

Máté Kovács was director of the Debrecen University Library from 1949 to 1956. The yearbook proposed by his colleagues and implemented by him intended to record the research activities of staff members and the works and developments going on in the university library. Under his leadership seven volumes were published, on cca. 2500 pages, with 32 essays of 14 authors. About the essays summaries were prepared in other languages (French, English, German and Russian).
Máté Kovács frequently set out his ideas as well on the pages of the yearbook, giving incentive to professional debates. His ideas about research into library science were presented in the opening study of the yearbook from 1955, when characterising the professional-scientific work of libraries. He held that research in libraries give an impetus to teaching and research at universities, and give a rank to the library within the institution. He took a stand for developing large libraries into a sort of library science research institutions dealing with the theory and history of book and library culture. In another study of his he dealt with the timely issues of national librarianship, and in another one with the tasks of university of college libraries.
The spirituality of the Debrecen yearbook awoke criticism from the conservative representatives of the profession. Máté Kovács recognised that the attack against the yearbook is just a pretext for intervention against modern library-political and library science efforts. Later, as a university head of department he advocated that library science is a separate field of science, and protected the contents and orientation of the yearbook.


COLLINS, Maria: Evolving workflows: knowing when to hold’em, knowing when to fold’em.
The Serials Librarian, vol. 57. 2009. no. 3. pp. 261–271. Abstract by Péter Dévai

Electronic resource management (ERM) workflows in academic libraries are characterized by their complex and constantly shifting nature. This article describes four phases of effective workflow management including careful planning, development of workflow strategies, staffing and identification of resources, and integration of ERM and communication tools. The importance of supporting effective communication strategies is emphasized throughout the article. Information obtained from informal interviews with eight academic librarians provides discussion points on workflows given up and workflows maintained as libraries transition to larger electronic resource collection. (Original abstract)

BEGER, Sherri: The evolving ethics of preservation: redefining practices and responsibilities in the 21st century.
The Serials Librarian, vol. 57. 2009. no. 1-2. pp. 57–68. Abstract by Éva Viszocsek Péteri)

This article explores the ethics of preservation, both as they have been traditionally established and as they might apply to current and future digital preservation efforts. The first part of the article reviews the literature of the past two decades to see how the preservation community has defined the ethical dimensions of its work, as well as developed guidelines to support an ethical practice. The second part considers digital preservation and the ways it both extends and complicates established ethical tenets. Digital preservation challenges the library community to revisit fundamental preservation practices and responsibilities. Our ability to come to consensus on these issues will be critical for the public’s continued trust in our roles as stewards of the cultural record. (Original abstract)

PESCH, Olive: ISSN-L: a new standard means better links.
(The Serials Librarian, vol. 57. 2009. no. 1-2. pp. 40–47. Abstract by Viszocsekné Péteri Éva)

The proliferation of online systems has made the ISSN an identifier with an identity crisis. When we think of access to information we often do not care if we get access to the print form or to the online version of an article – we expect the ISSN for the journal to identify the title regardless of format; however, when we are managing our subscriptions it is important for the ISSN to specifically identify the format we are ordering. The latest revision of the ISSN standard has achieved a major milestone by allowing the ISSN to act as both a title identifier and a medium version identifier. The linking ISSN (ISSN-L) has been introduced just for this reason and it, along with some other significant work of the ISSN standards, committee, should result in significant improvements in the quality of links to journal content. (Original abstract)

The library and archives of the Höglwörth Augustine Abbey at the time of secularisation in 1803
GÁTI Magdolna

Secularisation reached the Augustine Abbey in Höglwörth, Bavaria in 1817. The library and archival stock of the monastery was transported away by some church archives and some large state libraries. About the original holdings, the list of Höglwörth archivalia, and their locations no systematic review has yet been published. The library holdings must have been cca. 2500-3000 volumes, although no catalogue survived from the pre-secularisation times. The essay presents in short the fate of library holdings and describes the six catalogues compiled about it. The catalogues serve as a valuable source for research into the cultural history of the 17-18 centuries.


Library history day by day
Magyar könyvtártörténeti kronológia 996–2007. Összeáll. Gerő Gyula, közrem. Rácz Ágnes. Bp. : OSZK, 2009.
(Review by György Pogány)

A research report on the correlation of religiousness and taste
KAMARÁS István: Vallásosság és ízlés. Kutatási jelentés. Bp. : Loisir Kiadó, 2009.
(Review by Rita Péterfi)

One local history bibliography from the Miklós Bényei-series
Helyismereti művek. Hajdú-Bihar megye. Összeáll. Bényei Miklós. Debrecen : Méliusz Juhász Péter Megyei Könyvtár és Művelődési Központ, 2008.
(Review by György Gyuris)

Kategória: 2010. 2. szám | A közvetlen link.