26 Sep 2017

Open Letter-A call from the European Research and Innovation community to the Council of the European Union

Open Letter-A call from the European Research and Innovation community to the Council of the European Union

Securing Europe’s leadership in the data economy by revising the Text and Data Mining (TDM) exception – to the Council of the European Union

Dear Deputy Permanent Representatives,

We, members of a broad range of organisations representing universities, large and small technology companies, telecommunications and Internet services providers, startups and scaleups, libraries, scientific and research institutions, and non-profits, are calling on European lawmakers to stand up for the future of European research and innovation.

Member States need to ensure that Europe secures its leadership position in the data economy, by fixing the Text and Data Mining (TDM) exception in the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. We ask you to revise the exception for TDM to recognize that it applies to any person that has legal access to content, including content that is publicly available on the Internet, and for any purpose.

TDM is an innovative way of reading content one already has lawful access to, but at a much faster rate and at a much larger scale and using software rather than the naked eye. TDM is not about enabling access to copyrighted material for free, and it is not an attack on Intellectual Property and European creation. To put it simply, if someone has the right to read content, then he/she should have the right to understand and analyse that content when computers are used for assistance.

As discussions on the copyright reform in the Intellectual Property Working Party continue, we call on Member States to adopt a forward-looking approach that will help the European data economy grow, thereby fostering innovation and research and encouraging entrepreneurship and support for SMEs.

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