Archives for category: Updates

The Online Journalism Handbook‘s chapter on law covers some of the rights issues relating to databases. A recent judgement in the Court of Justice (Case C-604/10, Football Dataco & others v. Yahoo UK ! & others) is worth noting as it explores some further distinctions regarding database copyright.

Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Associate Professor and Reader in Intellectual Property law, University of Nottingham, sums it up here:

“The Court rightly holds that the Database Directive’s concepts of “selection” and arrangement” refer to the “selection and arrangement of the data through which the author of the database gives the database its structure”. Selection and arrangement do not extend to the creation of the data contained in the database. Therefore, the intellectual effort and skill expanded in creating data are not relevant in order to assess the eligibility of the database that contains them for copyright protection.

Here’s more:

“In short, the directive aims at stimulating the creation of databases. Its aim is not to protect the creation of data capable of being collected in a database.

“The court then refers to its InfopaqBezpečnostní softwarová asociaceFootball Premier League and Painer rulings to reiterate once more its interpretation of the originality requirement, namely the author’s own creation. Accordingly and applied to databases, the “criterion of originality is satisfied when, through the selection or arrangement of the data which it contains, its author expresses his creative ability in an original manner by making free and creative choices […] and thus stamps his ‘personal touch’”. Therefore, the Court continues, the criterion is “not satisfied when the setting up of the database is dictated by technical considerations, rules or constraints which leave no room for creative freedom”.

… “The crux of the judgment comes at paragraph 42 when the court clearly states that skill and labour in the selection or arrangement of the data, even if significant, is not sufficient as such to trigger copyright protection. The labour and skill must express the originality in the sense defined by the court (i.e. creativity) for it to give copyright protection to the database.”


Thanks to Bas Timmers for emailing to point out that Swivel is no longer operating. There are plenty of alternatives on that list, but just in case you need another, try Number Picture, which hosts a number of particularly impressive template styles.

The Huffington Post was sold for $315m just as The Online Journalism Handbook went to press. According to its founder this was a ‘merger of visions’ to fully realise ‘the launch of international Huffington Post sections (beginning with HuffPost Brazil); more emphasis on the growing importance of service and giving back in our lives; much more original video; and additional sections that would fill in some of the gaps in what we are offering our readers, including cars, music, games, and underserved minority communities’.

Page 153 mentions video conversation services, giving Seesmic as an example. has now closed, however (the sister service for managing social media accounts,, continues). For an alternative, try VYou.

Page 63 mentions DabbleDB, a service for creating, sharing and visualising databases. The service was closed in March 2011. Google Fusion Tables remains a useful alternative, as is the Firefox plugin SQLite Manager.

In ‘Closer Look: taking it further – resources on programming’ the website Scraperwiki is described as providing an environment for Python programming. The site has since added Ruby and PHP languages.