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Text and data mining in the EU: Legal certainty already exists -

The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) has noted the desire expressed in the 'Communication on Single Digital Market Strategy for Europe' issued on 6 May 2015 for legal certainty around the use of copyright-protected materials, including across borders, for text mining. STM suggests that this certainty already exists - through the activities already undertaken by STM member publishers that simplify licensing, permit licensed use, and support text formatting for efficient TDM activities.

Publishers are committed to the widest possible dissemination of and access to the content they publish. They actively provide both products and services aimed at supporting the advancement of knowledge and meeting the needs of their users. Active users indicate that enabling initiatives introduced by publishers deliver not only the legal certainty that they look for, but also meet their practical needs. The issues around mining (formats, metadata etc.) may seem complex, but legal certainty for TDM is not.

Most major STM publishers do and will continue to offer licenses which enable their customers to mine both text and data across the research, corporate and educational sectors. Most major STM publishers already meet the need of users for TDM through various channels such as those facilitated by CrossRef with a single one-time clickthrough across multiple publisher platforms. CrossRef currently includes 13.5M DOIs for journal article content and is projected to include over 30M DOIs by the end of 2015, from 27 participating publishers. Aggregators such as JSTOR, Ovid and CCC also play a critical role, providing not only licensing but also usefully providing text in formats other than PDFs. Individual publishers are also directly offering text alternatives to PDFs in appropriate 'mineable formats for this purpose.

STM publishing is not unique. Many segments of the creative sector utilise licensing to meet customers' TDM requirements. Newspapers have been licensing content for mining to financial firms for years, and in a recent study, TDM users from around the world identified newspapers, blogs, and other forms of media among the materials they mine most frequently in their daily work.

The TDM solutions currently offered by publishers and industry organisations not only provides legal certainty, they are also entirely operable both cross-border and in all EU member countries allowing the handling of bulk downloading and crawling software while maintaining platform stability and access by other users. Every customer in each and every European Union country has equal and standard access to the TDM options available.

Users rely on the creation of, and access to high-quality content as a raw material on which to build their works. Creating TDM exceptions to copyright would undermine the investment incentives essential to ensuring that high-quality content is available.

STM invites all stakeholders to support up-to-date practical initiatives which serve the TDM needs of users. Changes to copyright will not provide these users with the tools they require, and paradoxically will inject significant uncertainty into the current environment of proactive TDM solutions that are currently being offered. STM respectfully suggests that the Commission should support the efforts being made by the STM publishing community, and provide further support for the development of technical standards and training.

Click here to read the original press release.


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