It is believed that there is no established definition for big data. Here we first refer to the following definitions. Big data does not just mean large amounts of data. Rather, it means a new structure that handles a variety of data with a larger capacity, different from what has been handled so far. Its characteristics are indicated by quantity, frequency, that is, update rate, and variety, that is, type of data. It is also called the three Vs of big data, after the initial V of these three characteristics: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. In recent years, the use value of big data is improving against the background of advances in information and communication technologies such as IoT and AI. For example, an automobile manufacturer can collect a large amount of data by attaching a camera, radar, or LIDAR sensor to the vehicle and accessing the cloud. The data collected in this way can be used for the development of driving assistance technology or automatic driving technology, as a record of the driver’s driving habits, or as information about the traffic volume and congestion of the vehicle, or information about the lane and road shape. In this way, big data is not only useful for improving the value of its own products or services, but also useful for groups of actors in other industries, such as providers of geographic data such as Google Map, or public organizations, such as local governments in charge of road maintenance. With the improvement of the use value of such big data, the industry is accelerating the movement to obtain a superiority in transactional profit or business strategy by providing or sharing data. For this reason, how to reorganize the distribution base of big data and how to reorganize the legal base of the data trading market for this is becoming a task in each country’s legal policy.
With big data in mind, this paper examines the need and need for protection from the point of view of the intellectual property law for data that is not protected by the existing copyright law. With the recent advances in information technology, big data is attracting attention as one of the key technologies supporting FinTech. In this context, clarification of the legal position of big data can be said to be an indispensable review task in advancing the use of financial data, which is expected to expand in the future, and furthermore, in advancing the legal basis for the data industry as a whole. On the other hand, it is also pointed out that recognizing the exclusive right to big data hinders the smooth distribution of information. Therefore, in discussing the property law evaluation of big data, it is necessary to be conscious of the harmony between the private incentive of data producers’ return of invested capital and the social benefit of the smooth circulation of information.
In this paper, I examine the possibility of big data protection by the existing copyright system in Japan, the United States, and the European Union. Next, the basic direction of legal protection of data with property value that is not protected by the existing copyright system will be considered while considering recent legislative trends.