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A database is a compilation of information arranged and stored systematically to facilitate access and retrieval. Today, databases exist most commonly in electronic form. In Myspace, Inc. v. Graphon Corp., a court in California defined database as “a collection of data with a given structure that can be stored and retrieved.”

Unless the information itself is original or the structure and organization of the database qualify as an original work of authorship, the database will not be protected by U.S. copyright law.

[Last updated in September of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]