The Legal Protection of Databases: a Study of Jordanian Law

In: Arab Law Quarterly

This article deals with the legal protection of databases under Jordanian law. Section 1, on protection afforded under international conventions and agreements, discusses four international conventions: i.e., the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT) and Arab Convention on Copyright. Section 1.1. discusses the legal base in Jordan for such protection under international conventions. According to Jordanian law and court practice, international conventions to which Jordan is party have supremacy over the provisions of local law. In Section 1.2., the scope of protection, including exceptions and limitations, is discussed. Databases are protected under these conventions if the selection and arrangement of their content can be shown to be intellectual property. Section 1.3. is devoted to the remedies these conventions offer. It is shown that the TRIPS Agreement includes detailed provisions that afford administrative, precautionary, as well as civil and criminal protection to authors of databases. Section 2.1., on protection under Jordanian law, shows that Jordanian Copyright Law (JCL) provides a legal base for protection of databases in its provisions, as discussed in Section 1.1. The scope of protection, including exceptions and limitations, is presented in Section 2.2. In addition to protecting the author's traditional rights to the database created, JCL has introduced legal measures to protect the technology used to prevent illegal access to databases. Section 2.3. discusses the remedies afforded under local law, i.e., administrative, precautionary measures as well as civil and criminal protection. Also, Jordanian courts have upheld such protection in all areas. Thus, one may conclude that databases are protected under the Jordanian legal system to the same degree upheld in the TRIPS Agreement and in compliance with international standard.

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