Supreme Court delivers judgement on nautical chart copyright

On February 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of Denmark delivered its judgment in a case concerning copyright coverage of nautical charts.

The court’s main finding was that nautical charts are protected by Danish copyright law, and specifically that “individual cartographic elements cannot in themselves be considered as protected, but that the selection and combination of these elements can be protected”.

Further, the court found that the German chart publisher Nautische Veröffentlichung Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (NV) had copied the contents of Danish charts in its products, constituting copyright infringement. As a result, NV is required to remove its nautical chart products from the Danish market. NV is also required to pay a sum to Geodatastyrelsen for the infringement and to reimburse the agency for a share of its legal and court fees.

Find the supreme court ruling here