These are ways in which we use databases every day: browsing cinema schedules on a website, looking up bus or train schedules, finding a telephone number in a phonebook, etc.
Databases are indispensible tools in an information society, particularly online databases, which provide numerous examples of uses such as employment websites, real estate advertisements, financial information, etc.
Database producers make considerable investments in order to collect this data and organise it in a coherent way so that users can search for specific information. In many cases, these databases also have a significant economic value. These are all reasons which explain why databases are protected by law.
Belgian law provides two types of protection for databases.
In order to prevent competitors from using entire databases or parts of one, legislators have created a sui generis right in order to protect database producers.
If the database’s structure is original, it may be protected by copyright.