I want my data back — Your Response Ltd v Datateam Business Media Ltd
Can a common law lien be exercised over an electronic database pending payment? The Court of Appeal in Your Response Ltd v Datateam Business Media Ltd has confirmed that suppliers have no right to hold onto data in such circumstances.
The defendant was a magazine publisher and entered into a contract (partly oral, partly written) with the claimant database manager, which was to hold, maintain and update the defendant’s electronic database of subscriber information. Unhappy with the services provided, the defendant gave one month’s notice of termination.
The claimant stopped providing any services under the contract during the notice period and refused to release the database or give the defendant access to it until its outstanding fees had been paid. The defendant refused to pay until the database was made available to it. Needless to say, the contract was silent as to what should happen to the database on termination…
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