Mining Is The New Reading 23/03/2017 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Representatives of the research and academic community applauded amendments by the rapporteur to the draft new European Union Copyright Directive in yet another hearing on the megaproject yesterday in Brussels. Especially welcomed was the rapporteur’s proposal to extend the scope of an exemption for text and data mining. Representatives of publishers, on the other hand, said there is no evidence of the need for additional mandatory exemptions. The European Parliament Justice Committee (JURI), the lead committee for the Copyright Directive review, also got a first chance to briefly discuss the rapporteur’s amendments to the original Commission proposal. EU Copyright Directive Lead Rapporteur Therese Comodini Cachia Extending the scope of the text and data mining exemption by granting it also to individual researchers and start-up businesses, for example, is very much in the interest of the welfare of Europe, said Maria Elisabeth Rehbinder, legal counsel for the Art University in Aalto, Finland. The exemption is desperately needed as “the right to mine is the right to read,” she said. The text and data access exemption will allow access to raw text, graphical and table data in scholarly publications, allowing to mine it. Underlining the importance of the ongoing review of the Copyright Directive, Rehbinder today added that different from content and inventions, “there is no legal protection of information and knowledge.” The future Copyright Directive should moreover not focus on helping “publishers who have problems with digitisation,” she said. Rehbinder said it is important that publishers not be able to ban users from mining the content they had paid for, which was what they currently enforce through “unfair contracts”. It would even “go against copyright to prevent the use of data,” said Alain Strowel, professor at UCLouvain (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium). “We should relax access and use of data.” An example of an issue to further amend is the definition of person, Rehbinder said. Carlo Lavizzari, legal counsel, STM International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, rejected the calls for this, pointing to ongoing national initiatives. For research, there is no additional cost to mine the data, he said in contradiction to the researchers. Lavizzari warned the EU legislators to listen to those pushing for additional exceptions with the argument that information and data has to be accessible. “They sit in Palo Alto,” he said. It is “the information buried in publications that is more valuable than raw information,” he argued. Oliver Hintze, representing the Coalition for Action “Copyright for Education and Research,” welcomed another amendment in the rapporteur’s report that broadened the scope of the “educational sector” that will be eligible to benefit from the exemptions. The Commission’s proposal would exclude distance learning institutions that work cross-border. Publishers, meanwhile, are not happy with the potential amendments, and not even with the proposal of the Commission in some parts. Arnaud Robert, legal affairs director at Hachette Livres, said there are well-working models to provide teachers in France easy access to textbook material. For 20 euros a year, they would be able to use the data from textbooks and push it to whatever technical devices. For 11 cents per pupil, teachers could do the same for non-textbooks, and all this is covered by licences. If any further exception was needed, he said, non-commercial nature has to be ensured. “If you permit free use of textbooks you kill the market,” he complained, adding that for the access to out-of-commerce works, “there is no need for an exception.” Justice Committee Reacts to Rapporteur’s Amendments Members of the EU Committee of Justice immediately before the hearing had a first exchange on the report presented by the lead rapporteur for the Copyright Directive, Therese Comodini Cachia (European Peoples Party Group, EPP). Cachia cut down one of the most controversial paragraphs, the introduction of a new secondary right for publishers that would promote the use of content id filtering systems for copyright infringements. Press publishers would enjoy a legal presumption, instead, she said. The content ID filtering would be a step into the uncertain in changing and fluid markets. “We need protection of copyright without losing the exceptions and limitations in the e-commerce directive,” she underlined. Liberal Jean-Marie Cavada opposed the liberal approach to this: “We have filtering for terrorism, we have filtering for anti-Semitic and hate content, why should it be difficult to have filtering for copyright protected content?” More support for better protection for publishers and press companies came from Cachia’s German EPP colleague Angelika Niebler. “The million dollar question is, do we better protect creative content or do we just allow everybody to use everything for free. I think currently we have no fair distribution and we have to make sure that those creating and generating those things others just sit on top off get a chance to be fairly remunerated.” This is especially necessary to support quality media in the time of fake news, she added. Pirate Party Member Julia Reda welcomed most that Cachia refrained from creating additional protection rights, “because the purpose is having harmonisation and simplification.” The fight over the review still will drag on, while the Parliament works on several related instruments. The list is long: it includes a directive on portability for digital content, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=&reference=2015/0284(COD) an extra instrument on digital content contracting http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=&reference=2015/0287%28COD%29#basicInformation , a regulation to make online transmissions and retransmissions of broadcasting content easier for television and radio programmes http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=&reference=2016/0284%28COD%29 and an opinion on the challenges of digital platforms. The JURI today adopted a draft to finally implement the Marrakesh Treaty for better access to printed material for visually impaired people http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=IM-PRESS&reference=20170320IPR67841&language=EN&format=XML. The final passage now needs more negotiations with the Council. “Let’s hope the Council does not destroy it,” wrote Reda in a tweet after the vote. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."Mining Is The New Reading" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.