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A Database from Space: the Legal Protection of Data Created or Collected in Outer Space under the 1996 European Database Directive

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Chapter Summary

For the commercial utilisation of the International Space Station (ISS) it is important to establish whether and to what extend activities in outer space can produce results which are protected by some kind of intellectual property. This chapter focuses on one particular kind of protection that might apply to data created, discovered, collected and/or treated in outer space, for instance on board the ISS. The legal protection of raw, corrected and treated or analysed data resulting from activities in outer space was the subject of a study, conducted jointly by European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission in 1993. The chapter gives much attention to the European Database Directive which was by that time still a proposal. On 9 November 2004 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rendered its first decisions on a number of key notions in the database right.

Keywords: European Court of Justice (ECJ); European Database Directive; International Space Station (ISS); legal protection; outer space



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