Open Science: EUA signs joint letter on future-proofing rules for Text and Data Mining

12 April 2018

On 9 April EUA signed an open letter to the European Commission on maximising the benefits of artificial intelligence through future-proof rules on text and data mining.

EUA joined an alliance of 23 organisations representing universities, technology companies, service providers, start-ups and scale-ups, open access publishers, investigative and data journalists to express its concerns that a recent draft Communication of the European Commission on artificial intelligence does not recognise the fundamental role of text and data mining in this field.

The letter points out that the development of artificial intelligence is well-nigh impossible without machine-based analyses of large amounts of data. It therefore underlines that a broad exception for text and data mining open to commercial and non-commercial purposes is necessary to take the current debate of the EU Copyright Directive forward into the 21st century. Data-driven artificial intelligence research at universities, their spin-offs and start-ups needs a secure, unrestricted exception for text and data mining to thrive.

Such an approach will boost economic growth and increase European competitiveness. The alliance also emphasises that ongoing efforts of the European Union in building the European Open Science Cloud play an important role in safeguarding sustainable access to datasets and hence are a key enabling factor for progress in artificial intelligence that should not be endangered by a restrictive legal framework for text and data mining. Overall, the letter echoes EUA’s recent recommendations towards open access to research data (October 2017) and, particularly, one key aim of adequate regulatory frameworks for a successful transition to full open access by 2020.

EUA’s involvement in this initiative builds on its activities for a research- and education-friendly copyright legislation in Europe, conveyed, amongst others, in the Association’s statement on the EU Copyright Framework (February 2016) and, more lately, in its updated response to the European Commission proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (February 2017). EUA will continue to build its campaign in favour of adequate and coherent legislation across Europe, as indicated in its statement to EU Institutions and National Governments (October 2017).

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