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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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UK Copyright law question:There is a UK limited company

Resolved Question:

UK Copyright law question:
There is a UK limited company (Company A) that has a database (computer plugged into internet) on which they create, data (they claim it’s just data). The data is unique and is being created at the request of a third party, the third party (user A) is contractually blocked from obtaining the copyright to the data being created, instead they enter into a rental contract with Company A. As long as User A, pays yearly upkeep fees to company A, they have the rental contract. User A can sell the contract, for money and the contract will be transferred to the buyer (User B) also blocked from obtaining copyright.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Example:
Company A creates Data in UK > User B has rental contract to data > User B buys rental contract from User A.What doesn’t make sense to me:
Company A claims that the data is not subject to copyright.
Company A claims that the data is ownerless.
Company A claims that the data is not property.I feel that a UK company, that creates data on a UK database and then creates rental contracts against the data, must have a legal right that serves as a base for creating the rental contracts. I can’t understand how a rental contract can be created on data that is ownerless. I feel the only way the data became ownerless is if Company A abandoned their copyright willingly.
Facts as I see them:
Because they are in the UK they are subject to copyright. When Company A create the data, they automatically obtain the copyright to it. This would class the data as intellectual property, of which they are the rightful owner. Now they can create the rental contracts with User A legally, because they have a legal basis for renting the data out. For the data to now be ownerless, Company A must have willingly abandoned their copyright, after they created the rental contracts.
If they did it before, they would have had no legal right to serve as basis for renting something that is ownerless. So, they would commit fraud, by charging for something that is ownerless.
If the data is truly ownerless User A can’t sell their rental contract legally to user B, because the contract is not based on any underlying legal rights/ownership.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Section 3A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act confers copyright on a database. Assuming that Company A created the database it is the copyright owner. It can grant a licence to third parties to use the data, what you refer to as a rental agreement, or it can sell the database and the copyright to it outright. Does that help your thought process? Let me know if I can help you further. Please also leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, thank you. That is exactly how I argued it.