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Rows of empty seats from a parliament hemicycle with headphones on desks and electronic voting equipment fitted
Rows of empty seats from a parliament hemicycle with headphones on desks and electronic voting equipment fitted © Bet_Noire
News 12.09.2018
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European Parliament Vote on Copyright Fails to Provide Legal Clarity for Research

Science Europe is disappointed that the European Parliament did not sufficiently improve the far too restrictive proposal by the European Commission for text and data mining in Article 3 of the new Directive on Copyright, in today’s plenary vote.

Text and data mining (TDM) is an innovative way of reading content that one has lawful access to, using software rather than the naked eye. It allows for much faster analysis of such content, and at larger scale. New discoveries often result from analysis of the wealth of existing scientific results from all research disciplines. However, in the current proposal of the Directive, severe restrictions are placed on who can use such TDM techniques to analyse content.

Science Europe has called for a broad exception for TDM since the first discussions on the modernisation of the copyright legislation. Such an exception is needed to support researchers conducting cutting-edge scientific research, as they often work together with partners from private companies and society. Science Europe believes that anyone who has the right to read content, should also have the right to search and analyse it using automated means. Allowing TDM to anyone who has legal access to the content is the only way to ensure legal clarity for everyone involved in the research sector: from researchers to students, research organisations, private partners, and society.

Science Europe very much appreciates the support from a number of Members of the European Parliament, who proposed amendments that would have created an environment that fosters research, innovation, and economic growth. It is greatly disappointing to see that their forward-looking initiative was not supported by a majority within the Parliament.

Science Europe will continue to emphasise the importance of a broad exception for TDM as the Directive moves into the so-called trilogue negotations.

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