. "12 Promoting Access to and Use of Government-Sector Scientific and Technical DataAn Assessment of Legal and Policy Options." Proceedings of the Workshop on Promoting Access to Scientific and Technical Data for the Public Interest: An Assessment of Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
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PROCEEDINGS OF THE WORKSHOP ON PROMOTING ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL DATA FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST: AN ASSESSMENT OF POLICY OPTIONS
new data in which there has been a significant investment, not to the material that is older than 15 years in the database. Of course, the statutory protection does end after 15 years. So, in fact, the idea of depositing databases so that people could be absolutely sure —if we did get into an issue of how is a user going to be able to tell what is new and what is old—that is very difficult to do, so one of the alternatives that has been considered was that we would deposit our databases and, at the end of 15 years, they would be fair game.
MS. ADLER: I think that is a critically important part. That was the very issue that the FTC saw, as many of us did, as perpetual protection for the database. There was a provision—it was not as strong as we would hope, but it was moving in the right direction—included in the Senate negotiations for deposit at the Copyright Office.
As the legislation was finally drafted, there were still, including at the FTC, very strong concerns that, indeed, protection could be perpetual. Under any kind of regime discussed, I think that would have to be clarified right up front, for the concerns and reasons that Ken discussed.
MR. ONSRUD: There is no guarantee that after 15 years there won't be legislation for another 15 years and another.
MS. ADLER: Déjà vu all over again.
MR. ONSRUD: I have gained a lot of information here today. In my own mind, I don't know if this has clarified the issue more or if I am more confused, but it has certainly been interesting.