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Research-friendly copyright planned

09/12/15Science & Technology

Brussels has proposed a mandatory exception for research in the EU copyright legislation in the hope of overcoming a “fragmented copyright regime”.

According to the European Commission, innovators and researchers should have the explicit right to large scale process the content to which they have legal access. It’s hoped that such an exception should overcome the current fragmented copyright regime in the EU.

Other areas of concern the EU institution hopes to overcome are the lack of clarity around copyright and ownership of derived works, as well as the inadequacy of licensing solutions.

Carlos Moedas, European Research commissioner said: “Scientific research is collaborative and knows no borders, so the currently fragmented copyright regime in Europe is simply unacceptable.

“We also need to ensure that Europe does not fall behind other regions of the world, where text and data mining is already made easy. I have strongly supported a copyright exception for our researchers and innovators because they should be given the best conditions to do their jobs. The exception proposed today will be pivotal in spurring innovation and growth in Europe.”

The Commission says current obstacles have so far hampered the use of technologies commonly known as ‘text and data mining’ in the Union, resulting in researchers feeling discouraged to use such techniques to analyse vast amounts of digital content.

The harmonisation of the copyright exception for scientific research purposes was identified earlier this year by the Commission as a key for the functioning of the Digital Single Market. It’s hoped the planned exception will help the scientific community and innovative companies that have established collaboration with them make the best use of digital content they have already lawfully acquired or obtained access to.

It’s hoped such efforts will help bring coherence among the EU’s 28 member states and remove key barriers to open science and innovation. The legislative package, including the exception for research, is planned to be released in 2016.

Pan European Networks Ltd