In Parts I and II of this Paper, the author analyzes the legal protection of databases first in international treaties, in particular the Berne Convention and the WTO TRIPS Agreement, and second under national and regional copyright, sui generis, or other (e.g., tort) law in Europe (both the European Directive on the legal protection of databases of 1996, which was under review, and a number of relevant national laws), the United States, and a number of foreign jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, China, Nigeria, Russia, and Singapore). In Part III, the author provides a critical analysis of the effort to expand the legal protection of databases from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. In his conclusion, the author suggests three paths for the future evolution of the protection of databases at the international level.

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