Commission proposes copyright exception for researchers
On 14 September 2016, as part of its update of EU copyright rules, the European Commission proposed a copyright exception that would permit researchers to analyse on a large scale scientific data to which they have lawful access. Included in the legislative proposals for the modernisation of copyright in the Digital Single Market, the aim of this exception is to provide legal clarity and a level-playing field to researchers who use innovative data analysis techniques. This should enable them to more rapidly and efficiently discover new ground-breaking solutions to major challenges such as as global epidemics or climate change.
With research and innovation activities increasingly taking place through cross-border and cross-discipline collaboration, the current lack of copyright law consistency across the EU affects scientific progress. The proposed mandatory exception would require Member States to allow research organisations acting in the public interest to use text and data mining (TDM) for analysing digital content that they have already lawfully acquired or accessed.
The harmonisation of the copyright exception for scientific research purposes was identified as key for an innovative Digital Single Market. The aim is to support European competitiveness by fostering Open Science.
The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Member States within the Council of the EU. The approval of the legislators will be needed before it comes into force.