European copyright law needs to be modernised and harmonised. It should support the needs of researchers and help them to use cutting-edge digital technologies and collaborate internationally. That is why Science Europe closely accompanies the ongoing copyright revision and, together with other stakeholders from the research community, advocates for changes in the European Commission proposal that will benefit research.
The European Commission proposed a revision of the Copyright Directive in September 2016. This proposal includes a copyright exception for large-scale digital analysis of data by research institutions, which is known as Text and Data Mining (TDM).
The proposed TDM exception needs to be extended to include commercial entities, however. In a modern research environment, scientists frequently collaborate with commercial partners and the same rights need to apply to them. The current exception restricts, rather than encourages, research-based innovation and should be widened to foster an effective research and innovation ecosystem.
The European Parliament and the Council have both adopted their respective position on the proposal and are now in trilogue negotiations with the European Commission to reach an agreement on the final text. Both the Council and the European Parliament have proposed to add an optional exception for commercial entities that carry out TDM, leaving it up to the member states whether and in how far this exception should be introduced. The European Commission now proposes to add this exception as a mandatory exception.
The trilogue phase will soon come to an end. The European Parliament and the Council will then both need to officially adopt the agreed text before it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and then enter into force.