Study on the protection of research data and…

Study on the protection of research data and recommendations for access and usage :

« This study is basically divided into four parts. Its objective is to examine the legal requirements for different kinds of usage of research data in an open access infrastructure, such as OpenAIREplus, which links them to publications.
Within the first part, the requirements for legal protection of research data are analysed. In the process, the existing legal framework regarding potentially relevant intellectual property (IP) rights is analysed from different perspectives: first from the general European perspective and subsequently from that of selected EU Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK).
It should be noted that the European legal framework is partly harmonised in the field of copyright and largely harmonised in the field of the sui generis database protection right by EU directives. Thus, the national regulations are quite similar in many respects. National differences are described following the section on national implementation in Chapter 2.5.
Despite European harmonisation, the perhaps surprising outcome of the analysis is that there are some areas of dis-harmonisation between the different Member States. One very significant example of dis-harmonisation is the “exception for scientific research” to the sui generis database right. It is not mandatory for this exception to be introduced into national legislation and it seems that every Member State has its own interpretation of the underlying directive. As it is drafted at the moment, the exception is to all intents and purposes useless.
Another area that causes difficulties is the question of who becomes the rightholder of the sui generis right in a database that is created by a public body or in the course of publicly funded research. Indeed it is far from clear. Some might say the research institution or the funding agency or both become the rightholder. But of the legal regimes under consideration in this study, the only jurisdiction with clear regulation on this matter is the Netherlands and it generally denies a public authority the right to exercise the exclusive database right.
Additionally, it is still unclear whether linking, or at least deep linking, should be seen as a relevant act of communication to the public. There are contradictory judgments at the level of the Member States. However, at least this question will soon be clarified in the scope of an actual reference to the European Court of Justice(ECJ).

The second part of the study is dedicated to the scope of protection of the potentially relevant IP rights. First there is an analysis of whether different types of usage, such as linking, access or mining, infringe the different kinds of IP rights. Secondly, a “legal prototype of an e-infrastructure”, based on selected usage scenarios that may occur during the use of e-infrastructures such as OpenAIREplus, is evaluated in more detail. The main outcome of this second part is that by far the most important IP right in the context of e-infrastructures such as OpenAIREplus is the sui generis database right, and that it is very likely not possible to use all the described einfrastructure features without the consent of the respective rightholder(s).

The third part is an examination of some relevant licensing issues. Within this part of the study, different licence models are analysed in order to identify the licence that is best suited to the aim of Open Access, especially in the context of the infrastructure of OpenAIREplus. The result is that the upcoming CC License version 4.0 will probably be the one best suited to this kind of infrastructure. Within the last part, some recommendations are given on improving the rights situation in relation to research data. To respond to the fact that the scientific research exception as presently formulated is rather useless, it is suggested that a new and broader mandatory research exception be introduced on a European level. To achieve legal interoperability of different databases and e-infrastructures, it is recommended that all of them should license their data under the upcoming CC License version 4.0. »

URL : Study on the protection of research data and recommendations for access and usage