COMPULSORY LICENSING IN DATABASE: COMPETITON LAW ISSUES by ProQuest

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The database producers may protect their databases by enforcing their exclusive rights against any infringers. The restriction on copying or reproducing has to a certain extent ensured the process of commercialization of databases to take place. The development of database has also been influenced by technology. To that effect, copyright law is further extended to secure these technological measures from being circumvented. In addition, any digital information relating to the database producer or any terms and conditions of use of the work are also given a shield under the copyright law. All these factors have contributed in ensuring an adequate level of protection to the database producers. Nevertheless, the rights of database producers must be balanced with the rights and the interest of the users. This raises the issue of the extent to which acts that would otherwise constitute infringement, should be permitted for user's access and whether the copyright owners should be compelled to provide access to their copyrighted databases through compulsory licensing. The refusal of licensing may bring to another issue in competition law, i.e., abuse of dominant position. In short, this paper will analyzed two important issues:i. The issues of compulsory licensing to ensure the balance between the right of database producers and the users; andii. How competition law has been used to circumscribe the copyright owner from the abusive conduct as well as creating a balance between both parties. The principle of competition law ensures that the dominant position would not affect the right to access to information by database users. Thus, competitors are allowed to obtain license to develop competitive products in the market. This would benefit the public at large as competition will reduce the price and make access affordable to the users. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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