Database is a collection of records stored in a systematic way that can be best utilized. For example: Telephone directory, Yellow pages. Database is protected as literary work under Indian Copyright Act. However, some important points to consider are:
- Single database may include multiple data records. Each and every data record has its own proprietary value and is evaluated as individual literary work. Therefore, each record must be protected as a single literary work.
- When a database is used with a software application, while executing the application, information is retrieved, modified, added or deleted from the database. To perform such modification in databases, specific programming languages (eg: SQL) are available which helps in compilation of database. The manner in which the programming language commands are used can be termed as creative work. Therefore the task of compilation must be protected as a separate work.
- Modification in original database which results in a new and better arrangement of the original database will not be considered as Copyright infringement.