Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 9 November 2004.

The British Horseracing Board Ltd and Others v William Hill Organization Ltd.

Reference for a preliminary ruling: Court of Appeal (England & Wales) (Civil Division) - United Kingdom.

Directive 96/9/EC - Legal protection of databases - Sui generis right - Obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents of a database - (In)substantial part of the contents of a database - Extraction and re-utilisation - Normal exploitation - Unreasonable prejudice to the legitimate interests of the maker - Horseracing database - Lists of races - Betting.

Case C-203/02.


Top of the page Documents in the Case
Document Date Name of the parties Subject-matter Curia EUR-Lex
Judgment (OJ)
08/01/2005 The British Horseracing Board and Others
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Judgment
ECLI:EU:C:2004:695
09/11/2004 The British Horseracing Board and Others
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
Judgment (Summary)
ECLI:EU:C:2004:695
09/11/2004 The British Horseracing Board and Others
Opinion
ECLI:EU:C:2004:333
08/06/2004 The British Horseracing Board and Others
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
Application (OJ)
27/07/2002 The British Horseracing Board and Others
View pdf documents
Top of the page Legal analysis of the decision or of the case

Reports of Cases

2004 I-10415

Subject-matter

Interpretation of European Parliament and Council Directive 96/9/EC on the legal protection of databases ─ sui generis right, Art. 7 ─ "substantial part of the contents" ─ "obtaining [the] contents", Art. 7(1) ─ "verification [of the] contents", Art. 7(1) ─ "substantial part, evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively ... of the contents", Art. 7(1) ─ "insubstantial parts of the contents", Art. 7(5) ─ "extraction", Art. 7(1) ─ "re-utilisation", Art. 7(1) ─ "acts which conflict with a normal exploitation of [a] database or unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the ... database", Art. 7(5) ─ effects of a substantial change giving rise to a new term of protection (Art. 10(3) upon the prohibition of repeated and systematic re-utilisation, Art. 7(5) ─ lawfulness of the use of data contained in the database belonging to the British Horseracing Board Ltd concerning horse races for the purpose of Internet betting.

Systematic classification scheme

1.
B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-11 Approximation of laws
    B-11.08 Copyright and related rights
B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-11 Approximation of laws
    B-11.08 Copyright and related rights
B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-11 Approximation of laws
    B-11.08 Copyright and related rights
B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-11 Approximation of laws
    B-11.08 Copyright and related rights


Citations of case-law or legislation

References in grounds of judgment

Operative part

Opinion


Dates

Date of the lodging of the application initiating proceedings

  • 31/05/2002

Date of the Opinion

  • 08/06/2004

Date of the hearing

Information not available

Date of delivery

09/11/2004


References

Publication in the Official Journal

Application: OJ C 180 from 27.07.2002, p.14

Judgment: OJ C 6 from 08.01.2005, p.4

Name of the parties

The British Horseracing Board and Others

Notes on Academic Writings

  1. Bergant-Rakočević, Vesna: Sportni pari kot podatkovne baze?, Evropsko pravo in praksa 2004 nº 4 p.36-37 (SL)
  2. Stötzel, Ralf ; Wille, Stefan: Der Urheberschutz sui generis für Datenbanken, Europäisches Wirtschafts- & Steuerrecht - EWS 2004 p.490-494 (DE)
  3. Ibáñez Colomo, P.: Propriété intellectuelle. Arrêt "British Horseracing Board", Revue du droit de l'Union européenne 2004 nº 4 p.831-834 (FR)
  4. Leupold, Andreas: Was bedeuten die EuGH-Urteile "Fixtures Marketing" und "William Hill" für den Datenbankschutz?, Medien und Recht International 2004 p.45-47 (DE)
  5. Visser, D.J.G.: AMI: Tijdschrift voor auteurs-, media & informatierecht 2005 p.34-36 (NL)
  6. Hugenholtz, P.B.: AMI: Tijdschrift voor auteurs-, media & informatierecht 2005 p.36-37 (NL)
  7. Mariatte, Flavien: Protection "sui generis" des bases de données - Premières interprétations de la directive 96/9 sur la protection juridique des bases de données: du subtil distinguo entre création, non protégée, et fabrication, conditionnellement protégée, d'une base de donnée, Europe 2005 Janvier Comm. nº 24 p.21-23 (FR)
  8. Wiebe, Andreas: Europäischer Datenbankschutz nach "William Hill" - Kehrtwende zur Informationsfreiheit?, Computer und Recht 2005 p.169-174 (DE)
  9. Lehmann, M.: EuGH: Rechtlicher Schutz von Datenbanken - Pferdesportdatenbank, Computer und Recht 2005 p. 15-16 (DE)
  10. Grosheide, F. Willem: Intellectuele eigendom & Reclamerecht 2005 p.22-23 (NL)
  11. Leistner, Matthias: Juristenzeitung 2005 p.408-411 (DE)
  12. Pollaud-Dulian, Frédéric: Propriétés incorporelles. Propriété littéraire et artistique, Revue trimestrielle de droit commercial et de droit économique 2005 p.90-95 (FR)
  13. Hoeren, Thomas: EuGH: Datenbankschutz, Multimedia und Recht 2005 p.34-36 (DE)
  14. Lucioni, Carlo: L'oggetto e l'estensione del diritto sui generis a favore del costitutore di banche dati compilative nell'interpretazione della Corte di giustizia, Diritto pubblico comparato ed europeo 2005 p.97-103 (IT)
  15. Aplin, Tanya: The ECJ Elucidates the Database Right, Intellectual Property Quarterly 2005 p.204-221 (EN)
  16. Sirinelli, Pierre: Propriété littéraire et artistique. Droit sui generis du producteur d'une base de données, Recueil Le Dalloz 2005 p.1495-1496 (FR)
  17. Manavello, Costanza: Prima decisione della Corte di Giustizia sulla protezione delle banche di dati, Il diritto industriale 2005 nº 4 p.420-424 (IT)
  18. Derclaye, Estelle: The Court of Justice Interprets the Database sui generis Right for the First Time, European Law Review 2005 p.420-430 (EN)
  19. Ritter, Cyril: Cases C-203/02 The British Horseracing Board Ltd and Others v. William Hill Organization Ltd, C-46/02 Fixtures Marketing Ltd v. Oy Veikkaus AB, C-338/02 Fixtures Marketing Ltd v. Svenska Spel AB, and C-444/02 Fixtures Marketing Ltd v. Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Podosfairou (OPAP), judgments of 9 November 2004, nyr, Common Market Law Review 2005 p. 803-827 (EN)
  20. Gaster, Jens: "Obtinere" of Data in the Eyes of the ECJ - How to interprete the Database Directive after British Horseracing Board Ltd et al. v. William Hill Organisation Ltd, Computer und Recht: International 2005 p.129-135 (EN)
  21. Folmer, F.C.: Arrest British Horseracing Board/William Hill: het einde van de spin-offtheorie in het databankrecht?, Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht 2005 p.70-73 (NL)
  22. Tellier-Loniewski, Laurence ; Mauriello, Prisca: La notion d'investissement substantiel (À propos des quatre arrêts de la CJCE du 9 novembre 2004), Gazette du Palais 2005 II Doct. p.9-11 (FR)
  23. Dubuisson, François: L'interprétation du droit sui generis sur les bases de données par la Cour de justice des Communautés européennes: à propos des arrêts British Horseracing Board et Fixtures Marketing du 9 novembre 2004, Revue de droit commercial belge 2005 p.734-745 (FR)
  24. Kucsko, Guido: Wesentliche Teile des Inhalts einer Datenbank, Österreichische Blätter für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht 2005 p.137 (DE)
  25. Karnell, Gunnar: EG-domstolens databasdomar den 9 november 2004 - sammanfattning med kommentarer, Nordiskt immateriellt rättsskydd 2005 p.204-210 (SV)
  26. Kon, Stephen ; Heide, Thomas: BHB/William Hill: Europe's Feist. Court of Appeal Confirmation Establishes Bright Lines, European Intellectual Property Review 2006 p.60-66 (EN)
  27. Masson, Antoine: Creation of Database or Creation of Data: Crucial Choices in the Matter of Database Protection, European Intellectual Property Review 2006 p.261-267 (EN)
  28. Bertani, Michele: Banche dati ed appropriazione delle informazioni, Europa e diritto privato 2006 p.319-332 (IT)
  29. Van Loon, Sophie: William Hill: databanken, informatiemonopolies en paardenrennen, Mediaforum: Tijdschrift voor Media- en Communicatierecht 2013 p.87-93 (NL)
  30. Leistner, Matthias: Datenbankschutz - Abgrenzung zwischen Datensammlung und Datengenerierung, Computer Law Review International | Computer und Recht 2018 p.17-22 (DE)



Procedural Analysis Information

Source of the question referred for a preliminary ruling

Court of Appeal (England & Wales) (Civil Division) - United Kingdom

Subject-matter

  • Approximation of laws
  • Intellectual, industrial and commercial property
  • Freedom of establishment
  • Freedom to provide services

Provisions of national law referred to

UK - Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 Protection of Databases, arts. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

Provisions of international law referred to

Information not available

Procedure and result

  • Reference for a preliminary ruling

Formation of the Court

grande chambre (Cour)

Judge-Rapporteur

Lenaerts

Advocate General

Stix-Hackl

Language(s) of the Case

  • English

Language(s) of the Opinion

  • German