One of the items on the agenda for the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Diplomatic Conference (December 2-20 1996), is a database treaty that would effect the way databases are treated in terms of intellectual property. The proposed treaty "seeks to safeguard makers of databases against misappropriation of the fruits of their financial and professional investment in collecting, verifying and presenting the contents of databases. It does this by proposing protection that covers the whole or substantial parts of a database against certain acts by a user or by a competitor, for the limited duration of the right." Some have interpreted this to mean that the facts in the databases will become the intellectual property of the creators of the databases, a development that will have important consequences.
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