Appendix I: Legal rights in content and data
0 Copyright is a property right that covers certain types of works, including most creative and artistic works such as paintings, sculpture, literature, films, television, and music. Worldwide, the vast majority of countries have copyright laws that meet certain minimum standards set out in a number of international treaties.
- Reproduce the work (make copies);
- Distribute the work to the public;
- Rent or lend the work to the public;
- Publicly perform the work;
- Broadcast the work or include it in a cable television service; and
- Adapt the work or to do any of the above with an adaptation of the work.
0 The rights owner of a copyrighted work can thus prohibit others from doing any of the above acts, unless an exception or limitation to copyright applies. Use of the work in ways not covered by fair dealing or other exception requires permission from the copyright holder. Permission to use a copyrighted work usually comes in the form of a licence, which is a legal document outlining what can and can’t be done with the work.
0 As a general rule, copyright on texts, images, audio, and video automatically vests (without the need for registration) with their creator or, in the case of employment, with the employer. In the context of aid information – copyrighted material may include written reports, illustrative graphs, audio recordings of speeches or broadcasts, contents of emails or text on a website.
Rights in data
0 Factual information by itself is not covered by copyright, but several different legal rights can cover databases of factual information including copyright. For example in the EU, the Database Directive (Directive 96/9/EC) grants a specific separate “database right” for database creators, as well as copyright in the way in which data or other material is collected, selected and arranged in the database 1. Contract and other rights such as technical protection measures (often referred to as DRM) can also cover databases. As a result, databases of aid information – from financial records to geographic locations – will also be covered by legal rights.
0 In both copyright and database rights certain exceptions apply, such as fair use or fair dealing. However, the default of automatic protection of both creative works (text, images, audio) and of databases means that – unless clearly covered by an exception – subsequent users of those works and databases will need to seek permission before use. This is sometimes referred to as an “all rights reserved” model: the cloud of automatic legal restrictions and unknown legal risk for re-use lead to a “permission culture” where almost all use and re-use is predicated with seeking formal permission from the rightsholder.