Data protection and IP

IBM says, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. Companies base their values on the analyses of the “Big data” and equally gain monetary benefits upon basing their business strategies on such research.

Personal privacy on the internet is equally an issue when the big social media corporates sell our data to third parties for targeted advertisements and such.

TRIPS Agreement and data protection

India is one of the signatory states to the TRIPS Agreement. The TRIPS Agreement speaks of data protection in Article 10(2). It says that data compilation or compilation of any other material, whether in a machine-readable form or any other, which constitutes an intellectual production, shall be covered as such.

This can be summed up in the following points:

● If data is collected in a specific way, it cannot be used in the same manner

● “Other materials” extend the protection to non-data matters as well

● The data could be stored in computers

● The data could be stored in paper forms

● Data protection exists in intellectual effort on the grounds of collection and arrangement

● Database security is only available for intellectual selection and arrangement of data

● Data protection is not available for data or content itself

Data privacy and existing legislation in India

● The Constitution of India, 1950: Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides the right to privacy in the personal aspect

● The Indian Penal Code, 1860: Section 22 of the Indian Penal Code talks about the moveable property. Computers and papers storing data fall in the ambit of moveable property.

● The Information Technology Act, 2000: Section 2(1)o of the Information technology Act, lays down the definition of data as a representation of knowledge, information, facts, instructions or concepts which are prepared in a formal manner and which are intended to be stored or processed in a computer system or computer network and may be in any form such as physical print outs.

● The Copyright Act, 1957: Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act also provides data protection, since literary work also contains computer programs, tables, and compilations, including computer databases.

Big Data and Intellectual Property Rights

Big data is data that is dynamic in nature. It can be measured by speed, according to the rate of change of data in real-time. The variety includes structured and unstructured data.

Volume generally includes unstructured data from social media platforms used for analytics and other necessary conclusions.

Big Data is protected by:

● Copyright- Data representation and analyses can be copyright protected

● Trade Secrets- Corporations protect their methods of data obtained and analyses reached through commercial secrecy

● Patents- When data is processed or analysed, it can be protected in compliance with the Patent laws

Data licencing

There exists a way to offer a company’s database for parties that want a data feed through licencing. Licencing through a third party can be done by:

● Public Domain Dedication Licence- This licence grants public domain like rights and acts like waivers in public domain equivalent licences

● Attribution Licence- This licence allows a third party to distribute, adapt, and build on their work, commercially as well, as long as the original creation is credited to the original creator.

● Open Database Licence- This licence allows anyone to freely share, modify, and use data.