A Proposal for the Protection of Digital Databases in Sri Lanka
Abeysekara, Thusitha Bernad
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I intend to publish two research papers
Economic development in Sri Lanka has relied heavily on foreign and domestic investment. Digital databases are a new and attractive area for this investment. This thesis argues that investment needs protection and this is crucial to attract future investment. The thesis therefore proposes a digital database protection mechanism with a view to attracting investment in digital databases to Sri Lanka. The research examines various existing protection measures whilst mainly focusing on the sui generis right protection which confirms the protection of qualitative and/or quantitative substantial investment in the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents of digital databases. In digital databases, this process is carried out by computer programs which establish meaningful and useful data patterns through their data mining process, and subsequently use those patterns in Knowledge Discovery within database processes. Those processes enhance the value and/or usefulness of the data/information. Computer programs need to be protected, as this thesis proposes, by virtue of patent protection because the process carried out by computer programs is that of a technical process - an area for which patents are particularly suitable for the purpose of protecting. All intellectual property concepts under the existing mechanisms address the issue of investment in databases in different ways. These include Copyright, Contract, Unfair Competition law and Misappropriation and Sui generis right protection. Since the primary objective of the thesis is to introduce a protection system for encouraging qualitative and quantitative investment in digital databases in Sri Lanka, this thesis suggests a set of mechanisms and rights which comprises of existing intellectual protection mechanisms for databases. The ultimate goal of the proposed protection mechanisms and rights is to improve the laws pertaining to the protection of digital databases in Sri Lanka in order to attract investment, to protect the rights and duties of the digital database users and owners/authors and, eventually, to bring positive economic effects to the country. Since digital database protection is a new concept in the Sri Lankan legal context, this research will provide guidelines for policy-makers, judges and lawyers in Sri Lanka and throughout the South Asian region.
PhD in Law