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Legal protection and data access of remote sensing and GIS database

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2 Author(s)
Yi-Ping Chen ; Da-Yeh Univ., Changhwa ; Ming-Der Yang

Recently, remote sensing data and geographic information system (GIS) have been variously applied to research and industry in the world. Most of cases, the database of geographic information is a big treasure belonging to a company or a government. However, the digital data set is expensive to generate but easy to copy and propagate. In a private sector, it would be reluctant to invest a great amount of money unless profits can be expected to make. Thus, proper protection is necessary to foster the development of this kind of information industry. This article describes the related laws and regulations of database protection. According to U.S. Supreme court case, Feist Publications vs. Rural Telephone Service Company, Inc., a factual compilation is protected only if there is intellectual creativity either in the selection of the facts contained or in their arrangements as presented so that factual database would be unprotected by copyright. However, remote sensing and GIS data are computerized and digital versions of maps with added information, functionality, and complexity that provide a further opportunity for original expression. Therefore, whether RS and GIS data are supposed to be protected by copyright or not becomes a hot controversy. "Fesit case" raises a big issue for the copyright protection of database and stimulates a new database law to be brought up, such as the EC Database Directive. The EC Database Directive seems to find a new solution to resolve the problem between the intellectual property right and the access right of database. This article makes a brief introduction of the regulation related to database protection in the United States, European Communities, and Taiwan.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2007. IGARSS 2007. IEEE International

Date of Conference:

23-28 July 2007