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Parliament steps back on mining in copyright report

MEPs have signed off on a final version of a report on EU copyright reform that removes mandatory exceptions for researchers to conduct text and data mining.

The vote, by the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament, concerned an own-initiative report prepared by German MEP Julia Reda. In her first draft of the report, Reda had recommended that certain exceptions to copyright law should be made mandatory across all member states. This included the right to mine scientific publications, which allows researchers to assess large amounts of text and data using computer programmes.

In the final version of the report, a recommendation that text and data mining be granted an exception was still included, as were provisions for digitising library archives and sharing e-book—all of which have all been supported by library associations. However, MEPs removed the recommendation that such exceptions should be made mandatory, meaning that the situation would be unlikely to improve significantly since countries could still retain different copyright laws.

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