For a Friday Read this week, I thought I’d share a Policy Forum article published yesterday in Science, which I co-signed along with 17 other copyright scholars from around the world, explaining how the patchwork of copyright rules for text and data mining is hampering global research. For more than a century the global copyright system has been dominated by the concerns of copyright holders, and that is reflected in the copyright treaties that most countries have signed. They include clear and strong uniform protections for copyright holders, but they are vague and weak when it comes to the rights of the public, including the rights of researchers, to use copyrighted material. Text and data mining can yield new insights in a wide variety of fields, from epidemiology to English literature, but it requires copying often massive amounts of copyrighted works in order to analyze them and then share the results. We argue that the global copyright system should be reformed to include clearer, more uniform rights for researchers to engage in text and data mining activity using in-copyright works. Check it out at the link below.

Legal reform to enhance global text and data mining research.