Legal Aspects of Digital Preservation

Legal Aspects of Digital Preservation

Thomas Hoeren, Barbara Kolany-Raiser, Silviya Yankova, Martin Hecheltjen and Konstantin Hobel

This important book illustrates the implications of preservation actions on intellectual property rights and data protection. These can include: Potential violation of data protection laws through the storage of personal data, and potential infringement of a copyright-holder’s exclusive right to reproduce and store their copyright protected data. The book considers the scope of protection under both IP and data protection rights, and offers strategies on avoiding potential infringement. Further IT contracting issues and selected existing legal obligations to preserve data are described with a particular emphasis on digital preservation.

Chapter 4: Data protection

Thomas Hoeren, Barbara Kolany-Raiser, Silviya Yankova, Martin Hecheltjen and Konstantin Hobel

Subjects: law - academic, information and media law, international commercial law


The development of digital preservation systems for business processes and services focuses on bringing digital preservation into the realm of business continuity management by developing the activities, processes and tools that ensure long-term continued access to business processes and the underlying software and hardware infrastructure. To achieve this, however, it is not only necessary to improve understanding of digital preservation, but also to create and increase awareness that operating digital preservation systems is one of the most important steps for businesses to ensure that they will be able to use their present knowledge in the future. The creation of a digital preservation system is accompanied by many technical and non-technical issues. Of course, the technical issues must be resolved first – no digital preservation system could be set up without consideration of how to preserve information or what is the most effective way of storing data. But once these questions are answered, it will be necessary to turn one’s attention to non-technical issues. Running an effective digital preservation system in a holistic way means transferring more or less all important and relevant business data to new data storage. One of the first user questions that usually arises in this context is: ‘How safe is my preserved business information?’ This is a legitimate question, because the risks of protection of personal data associated with online activity are increasing, and the possible methods of intercepting personal data have become increasingly complex and less easily detectable.

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