Use of databases

If the database is protected as a work according to Article 1, database rights may be infringed if a copy is made of the database or it is made available to the public according to Article 2. See further Copyright holder’s rights.

If the database is not protected under Article 1 it may be protected under Article 49 if the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents of the database has required substantial investment.

It is usually not a database infringement to search information from a database. The use of information may, however, be restricted by the terms of some agreement. The database may also contain works which are protected by copyright and whose use is thus restricted.

Databases may be used in accordance with the exception provisions of the Copyright Act. See further Exceptions and its sub chapters. Article 11 a which contains provisions for temporary copy making is not applied to databases. Provisions of private use in Article 12 are not applied to all databases. See further Right to make temporary copies of works and Private use.

If rights to the database are received through an agreement the terms of the agreement must be followed. The terms may be more restrictive than the provisions of the act. The terms may require that the parties to the agreement ensure that all database users abide by the terms of the agreement.

According to Article 49, however, such terms which prevent or restrict a lawful user of the database from extracting and/or re-utilizing insubstantial parts of its contents, evaluated qualitatively and/or quantitatively, for any purposes whatsoever are not valid. According to Article 25 j, a lawful user may make copies of the database and also other actions which are necessary to have access to the information in the database and to its customary use and any term of agreement restricting this right is not valid.

These provisions, however, are only applied to databases under the Finnish Copyright Act. See further Application of the Finnish Copyright Act and how to use material to which other provisions are applied.

Opinions given by the Copyright Council: