Rule 1 Objective: Implement Intellectual Property Rights establishing 100% data ownership that will generate fees from the licence usage of the source owners’ data

Why? IPRs are the foundations of a successful data business.

Dealing with Data IPRs is much like the challenge of confronting the Lernaean Hydra, as soon as 1 head gets the chop 2 more appear. It’s the direct effect of data’s amazing mutability allowing data consumers to put it to work in an infinite number of ways. This places the data source owners, and distributors, in the unenviable position of playing eternal catch up. Fortunately, the principles of applying effective IPRs provide the way forward.  

The Key factors are:

• Market Data ownership must be known, transparent and established at source

• IPRs must be protected and policed •All contracts, agreements, distribution, and usage must reflect the IPRs of the source owners

• Knowing data workflows is critical

• There must be clear line of sight from source to end user

• Data and information is licensed, it is NOT sold

• All IPRs are vested in the data source, not the distributors, not the subscribers •

There are 4 areas that must be in place:

Rule 1 Future Development

Once the framework has been established the worst next step is to set everything in stone. As consumer usage develops and evolves so must the application of IPRs, even though the foundational principle of data ownership does not.


• Avoid a one size fits all approach to licences, contracts, and policies, it won’t work

• Introduce flexibility which reflect the different types of consumer who use data for different purposes and in different ways

• Eliminate past non-standard agreements that favour individual clients, it hands over unfair competitive advantages which harm regular clients, plus being regulatory unfriendly

• Acknowledge and facilitate new types of data consumer

• Initiate progressive and regular reviews delivering a continuous development of licences, contracts, and policies within a 3 year cycle, and even then 3 years might prove too long in the future 

• Introduce more efficient electronic systems for documentation and processing, take a look at ‘DataBP’, and ‘DocuSign’

Getting Rule 1 right builds the framework for success

Rules 2 to 8 to come!

Keiren Harris 07/03/2021


Please email knharris@marketdata.guru for a pdf or information about out consulting services