Onsrud, H.J. and X. Lopez, "Intellectual Property Rights in Disseminating Digital Geographic Data, Products, and Services: Conflicts and Commonalities among European Union and United States Approaches", in Masser, Ian and Francois Salge, eds., European Geographic Information Infrastructures: Opportunities and Pitfalls (London: Taylor and Francis) 1998, pp. 153-167.
Intellectual Property Rights In Disseminating Digital Geographic Data, Products, and Services: Conflicts and Commonalties Among European Union and United States Approaches
Harlan J. Onsrud
National Center for Geographic and Analysis
University of Maine
Xavier R. Lopez
School of Information Systems and Management (SIMS)
University of California, Berkeley
Several areas of law influence the sharing of digital geographic information across national boundaries. Among them include intellectual property, privacy, freedom of information, free trade, antitrust, and electronic contracting laws. Substantial differences exist between United States and European Union approaches to imposition of rights in each of these areas of the law. Even though clarity yet lacks in the application of U.S. and European laws to digital databases in networked environments due to rapidly changing technological conditions, this paper describes several specific differences and commonalties in the treatment of copyright and closely related rights in geographic data, products, and services.