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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Question Unanswered: Data ownership legalities

    Well this a cosy place!

    I've had a good trawl across the web but can't find any real answers to this question so thought I would get some opinions from you guys.

    I'm a web developer in a large UK corporation, we purchased a licensed software product about 10 years ago that came with an empty our the box db. The product is a windows application with a MS SQL back end.

    They sell us concurrent user licenses and don't offer any web based products however, since the purchase we now have many devices that aren't running Windows.

    UK Law is pretty clear surrounding database ownership when it comes to copyright but the grey area for me as a developer is the data itself, surely that is property of our corporation since it relates to our business and was input by our employees.

    What I would like to do is simply pull the data onto a bunch of web pages for read only access, obviously the licensed software has all the bells and whistle that manipulates the data.

    I've read the EULA in full and it just states the obvious really and regularly refers to the "Licensed Software" which it defines as the "Product Name". There's no mention of the data or database in the EULA.

    So my question is, since we won't be copying, manipulating or reverse engineering the licensed software would this be infringing their IP rights?

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    Im not a lawyer
    I cannot see how the data is owned by anybody other than the company that created it. In the same way the software copyright is owned by the authors. The dat itself is owned by the software licencee.

    To ckaim otherwise would effectively mean no organisation owned the data in a db other than the db software authors (oracle,microsoft et al) which is plain daft.

    So it should be legal to do what you want. The only potential gotcha i can see is if there is some licencing restrictio on who can access the db
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Provided Answers: 1
    Yeah, we are not lawyers here, but I would agree that you own your own data.
    Certainly the software company does not own your data, and has no rights to it at all, so that leaves you by default.
    However, there may be reference tables and application data that came installed with the software, and you could not claim ownership of it.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman "sqlblindman"

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