KVK has no database right; court rules in favor of trade association VVZBI
Amsterdam, December 22, 2021 - The Association for Business B2B Information (VVZBI) has won the lawsuit it filed against the Chamber of Commerce (KVK). The KVK had announced that it would enforce its alleged database right on the Trade Register against the members of the association. The court has now ruled that the KVK has no database right on the Trade Register.
The KVK wanted to impose far-reaching restrictions on the use of public trade register information. The VVZBI has always argued that the KVK does not have such a right and therefore may not regulate the market on that basis. "We have always been convinced that reliance on database law was impermissible. We are pleased that this has now been confirmed by the court," said Jeroen Kempers, president of the VVZBI.
Commercial register openness secured
The existence of a database right requires that the KVK, as producer of the database, has made risky investments in the Trade Register. Kempers: "The KVK does not bear the financial risk of investments in the Trade Register: there is no economic incentive, the KVK performs a statutory task. Moreover, it has been legally arranged that the costs of the KVK that cannot be compensated from its income, will be covered by the central government". The ruling creates clarity for the members of the VVZBI and their clients, who need the trade register information on a daily basis as part of, for example, compliance and credit insurance processes. This does not mean that re-use of trade register information is outlawed. On the contrary, existing legislation already sets all kinds of limits and conditions for such use, especially where privacy may be at stake. The VVZBI members take those rules very seriously and have, for example, recently drawn up a joint privacy code of conduct.
Important role of VVZBI members in economic life secured
Public information from the Trade Register is an important raw material for the services of VVZBI members. They provide insights by structuring, analyzing and enriching this information with data from many sources and data intelligence developed in-house. In this way, they create transparency and trust in doing business between companies and contribute substantially to economic growth. The VVZBI members, just like the KVK, consider legal certainty and privacy of paramount importance. Kempers: "We are very pleased that the court has ruled in our favor. With this ruling the (re)use of trade register information in economic transactions is secured. For years our companies have played an important role in ensuring that all kinds of transactions in economic transactions are legally certain and transparent. That role will therefore remain unaffected and our tens of thousands of customers can continue to use our information products for their business decisions."
About the Association for Business B2B Information
The Association for Business B2B Information was founded by six leading business information providers: Altares Dun & Bradstreet, CreditDevice, Creditsafe, Company.info, Graydon and DR3DATA. Together they serve the vast majority of the Dutch market for credit and business information. They support tens of thousands of companies in acting legally secure in millions of business agreements per year by providing reliable, complete and up-to-date company information. This information enables companies to make informed business decisions, identify opportunities and reduce risks. Public business information is one of the most important sources for this, which is enriched with information from other sources and in-house developed data intelligence. The association is therefore a strong advocate for rapid, technically functional and fair access to business information.
Association for business B2B information
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Vincent de Pooter