A need for a global text and data mining (TDM) exception

The Slovenian Copyright and Related Rights Act was amended in September. The adoption process was intensely problematic and resulted in numerous solutions at the expense of researchers and educators, while also being contrary to the national open science strategy. The issue was considered in detail by Maja Bogataj Jančič and Sandra Koren in an open access article in Sobotna priloga, Delo.

The positive changes in the amendment are due to the persistence of researchers that were supported by the Minister of digital transformation, dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh. This resulted in the adoption of a progressive TDM exception.

We need a similar arrangement on a global scale. This is the goal of a group of academics from around the world, including Sean Fiil-Flynn, João Quintais and Carys Craig, who have published a joint opinion piece in Science Magazine, discussing legal reform to promote text and data mining research on a global scale. 

The ability to undertake data analytics based on vast amounts of information using automated tools is essential to the right to research. However, copyright can stand in the way. The authors offer an overview of TDM regulation around the world and call for implementation of TDM exceptions around the world. The overview does not yet take the new Slovenian exception into account.

The authors put forward a number of proposals for copyright reform, including a WIPO international treaty to introduce copyright exceptions to permit TDM research across the globe.