The European Parliament’s position on the Copyright Directive will hold back European research and innovation

Thu, Sep 13, 2018

The European Alliance for Research Excellence (EARE) is highly disappointed in the result of yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament on the Copyright Directive, especially in the limited Text and Data Mining (TDM) exception that was adopted (Article 3).

After the rejection of the JURI Committee report in July, the European Parliament had an opportunity to adopt a broader mandatory TDM exception, which would have allowed research and innovation to thrive in Europe and create jobs in important emerging fields like data analytics.

Unfortunately, Members of the European Parliament have reverted to the limited and optional exception voted in the JURI Committee, when better proposals were on the table.

We strongly believe that this optional exception, mirroring the one adopted by the Council, remains deeply flawed. Beyond failing to provide legal clarity to TDM users, it presents three key shortcomings:

  • It will hinder Europe’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) ambitions. TDM is fundamental to the development of AI technologies. AI research in Europe is not only carried out by public actors and large companies. SMEs and startups, which are essential players in this area and need access to data, are excluded from the current scope of the exception.
  • It will lead to market fragmentation. With the optional exception, some Members States will become TDM havens and attract Europe’s most innovative companies, SMEs, startups and public-private partnerships, while others will lose out. This goes against the objectives of the Commission to complete the Digital Single Market.
  • It will encourage our best talents to leave Europe. By making TDM more difficult, Europe will incentivize its most promising innovators to go to countries with TDM and AI-friendly copyright laws, such as the US, China or Japan.

As the European Parliament and the Council enter into interinstitutional negotiations, we believe there is still a chance to adopt a simple broad and mandatory future-looking TDM exception, which would protect the interests of rightsholders while encouraging European innovation.

We hope that EU institutions will understand the importance of Article 3 for European researchers and innovators. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Europe is at the forefront of the global AI race.

Other blog posts

  • Unleashing Big Data’s Potential for journalism, economy and research

    Wed, Apr 04, 2018

    The extent to which TDM is revolutionising the way both public and private sector researchers work has yet to be fully realised by EU policymakers, argue TDM experts.

  • The European Parliament must improve the TDM exception to benefit European research

    Mon, Apr 09, 2018

    28 European organisations signed an open letter asking MEP Axel Voss to improve the TDM exception in the copyright reform.

  • EARE’s position on the JURI Committee Report on the Copyright Directive

    Thu, Jun 28, 2018

    Read EARE's statement on the JURI Committee Report on the Copyright Directive.