Database rights are a relatively new phenomenon. Until several years ago, the contents of a database could not be legally protected as such. If the producer of the database could not claim copyright protection (for example because the database only contained factual data), it was impossible to prevent others from copying the contents of the database or providing their own front-ends to the database. Realizing that this could pose a threat to the availability of information in databases, the European Parliament in 1996 adopted Directive 96/9/EG. This Directive provides for a new intellectual property right on the extraction of data from databases and on the making available of the database itself.