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Update 14th September 2018: This proposal is the version adopted by the EU Parliament on 12th September 2018. Emboldened text denotes an amendment.
New technologies enable the automated computational analysis of information in digital form, such as text, sounds, images or data, generally known as text and data mining. Text and data mining allows the reading and analysis of large amounts of digitally stored information to gain new knowledge and discover new trends.
Whilst text and data mining technologies are prevalent across the digital economy, there is widespread acknowledgment that text and data mining can in particular benefit the research community and in so doing encourage innovation.
However, in the Union, research organisations such as universities and research institutes are confronted with legal uncertainty as to the extent to which they can perform text and data mining of content. In certain instances, text and data mining may involve acts protected by copyright and/or by the sui generis database right, notably the reproduction of works or other subject-matter and/or the extraction of contents from a database.
Where there is no exception or limitation which applies, an authorisation to undertake such acts would be required from rightholders. Text and data mining may also be carried out in relation to mere facts or data which are not protected by copyright and in such instances no authorisation would be required.
For text and data mining to occur, it is in most cases necessary first to access information and then to reproduce it. It is generally only after that information is normalised that it can be processed through text and data mining.
Once there is lawful access to information, it is when that information is being normalised that a copyright-protected use takes place, since this leads to a reproduction by changing the format of the information or by extracting it from a database into a format that can be subjected to text and data mining.
The copyright-relevant processes in the use of text and data mining technology is, consequently, not the text and data mining process itself which consists of a reading and analysis of digitally stored, normalised information, but the process of accessing and the process by which information is normalised to enable its automated computational analysis, insofar as this process involves extraction from a database or reproductions.
The exceptions for text and data mining purposes provided for in this Directive should be understood as referring to such copyright relevant processes necessary to enable text and data mining. Where existing copyright law has been inapplicable to uses of text and data mining, such uses should remain unaffected by this Directive.