Database Rights

Database Right protects a collection of independent works, data or other materials which have been systematically or methodically arranged. They must also be accessible by electronic or other means. This obviously covers electronic databases, but could in theory cover biological materials collections, for instance.

Like copyright, there is no need to register, however, the protection only lasts for 15 years from when the database was compiled.

Database Rights Protection

Some practical tips to help protect your database rights are set out below:

Keep all your notes, records of telephone conversations and meetings, e-mails, contact details and other correspondence which you used to collect and compile the information contained in your database.


Keep all your working drafts and original copies of your database in a secure place. If stored electronically ensure it is password protected.


Record the date when you created the final database: again, a good way to do this is to put the work in an envelope unopened.


Alternatively, if stored electronically, e-mail the database to yourself or somebody independent, such as a solicitor. The postal stamp or the date of the
e-mail can be used to demonstrate the date before which it was created.


Place a copyright notice (for example, © J Bloggs 2013 or © University of Knowledge 2013) at the bottom of the database.


Insert some intentional but irrelevant mistakes or anomalies in the database.