[open-science] UK Government to introduce copyright exceptions for data and text mining

cameron.neylon at stfc.ac.uk cameron.neylon at stfc.ac.uk
Fri Aug 12 08:20:27 UTC 2011

This is indeed very serious progress if it can be got through. There is going to be massive lobbying against the implementation of this, and it also appears likely that it will be legally difficult to implement. What we'll get will be strictly limited to non-commercial activities which isn't where we'd like to be but is at least progress. It will enable the kinds of things that Peter has been wanting to do for ages at least.

In the meantime there is a need for real hard evidence of existing damage and future possibilities. I've been approached to see if we can pull some more concrete evidence together to bolster the case. In particular we need any evidence of _specific_ damage. Things not done that could be done (ideally even under an NC regime) and things that _very clearly would_ happen if the proposed rules go through. Also any economic modelling on the benefits under either an NC or fully open regime would be very useful. Comments from highly successful overseas researchers or professionals who would shift their operation to the UK if such a system were brought in would also be useful.

All of this has to focus on issues and opportunities raised specifically by copyright, and not by access. The inquiry and proposed legislation is about reforming copyright not access so we need to be clear about the distinction there.



On 12 Aug 2011, at 09:03, Jenny Molloy wrote:

> http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/08/data_mining_given_the_go_ahead.html
> Full report here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/innovation/docs/g/11-1199-government-response-to-hargreaves-review [pdf]
> "The Government sees the areas where copyright restricts activity to no direct commercial benefit as doubly wasteful: neither new opportunities nor incentive to invest in copyright works result from them. Nor does the Government regard it as appropriate for certain activities of public benefit such as medical research obtained through text mining to be in effect subject to veto by the owners of copyrights in the reports of such research, where access to the reports was obtained lawfully. We recognise that some publishers view licensing of text mining as a legitimate commercial opportunity; however we are not persuaded that restricting this transformative use of copyright material is necessary or in the UK’s overall economic interest."
> Not being a lawyer, I have no idea how far this will impact what publishers are allowed to ban in their license agreements with institutions, which as we've discussed on the list before is where the mining restrictions are often found (often banning use of all automated indexing/searching/mining tools and citing server load issues) and involve contract rather than copyright law.
> Jenny
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