A New Value in Town - Data: The Other Intangibles

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This publication doesn't include Faculty of Medicine. It includes Faculty of Law. Official publication website can be found on muni.cz.


Year of publication 2022
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Description In tangibles, value protected by property is naturally generated by demand and scarcity. We have no concept of value in the case of copyrights. It is only anticipated by the law that a work that meets certain criteria is, or might be, valuable - and then, the law wrongly anticipates that the value is generated in the same way as in the case of tangibles. There is some conceptual approach to value in patents (through the requirement of industrial applicability) or databases (through the requirement of substantial investment). We already empirically learned that the main value in data is generated through their processing. Consequently, I think that any legal protective instrument for data, if it should reflect this basic fact, cannot be property-based, but process- (or transaction-) based. I would also like to stress the (truly) conservative approach to intellectual property by pointing to the fact that intellectual property is originally designed not to provide for the ownership of respective creation or invention, but of particular rights related to them (typically use). It all means that we should focus on rights that cover processing of data (not their mere existence) when thinking about protecting the value in them - and then it does not really matter whether we speak about ‚property‘ or other rights in that relation.
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