On 4 May 2015, OpenForum Europe (OFE) published an extremely significant policy paper on text and data mining.
From the OFE website:-
For the past months, OFE has been involved in an intensive research process regarding the various arguments and approaches relating to text and data mining (TDM) in Europe, which culminated with the paper published today, titled “An analytical review of text and data mining practices and approaches in Europe”.
The Commission should aim to achieve coherence in the legal provisions which it seeks to apply to TDM, with no consideration of ‘commercial’ versus ‘non-commercial’ purposes. Europe needs a regime which enables any researcher, citizen, company or other entity to engage in TDM activities, using material to which they have lawful access. The exact commercial rewards can be managed at subsequent stages, depending on the implementation of the mining outcome. The protection could be considered at the point at which some clearly commercially beneficial project, product, service, business or company has emerged.
From the report itself, mention is made that Peter Murray-Rust contributed to it:-
This paper is based on extensive desk research, including most of the benchmark reports, such as the European Commission funded Expert Group Report (2014), the study by De Wolf and Partners (2014), the UK IPO’s ‘Exceptions to Copyright’ brief (October 2014), as well as numerous other reports, position papers, articles and blog posts1.The initial findings have been discussed at the Round Table that OFE organised in October 2015, the conclusions of which are available in the follow-up White Paper. The desk research and Round Table discussion have been complemented by a series of interviews with academics, researchers, start-ups, and more established companies (including publishers and infrastructure providers)2.1A comprehensive list can be provided upon request.2The interviews were conducted between September 2015 and February 2016, with the following experts (in alphabetical order): Geoffrey Bilder (CrossRef), Vivian Chan (Sparrho), Elizabeth Crossick (RELX), Lucie Guibault (IViR), Prof. Ian Hargreaves, Rachael Lammey (CrossRef), Thomas Margoni (Openminted), Peter Murray-Rust (Content Mine), Cameron Neylon (Public Library of Science), Julia Reda (MEP), Tim Stok (RELX), Kalliopi Spyridaki (SAS).
Even if TDM is to be allowed through a generalised exception, APIs will still be needed to do the actual mining. Trusted third party platforms which make APIs available should be encouraged. Having a trusted third party in the mining process could provide a middle ground where publishers feel more confident that their content is not about to be misappropriated, and where miners feel they can engage in TDM without their project being put at risk of plagiarism or other sharp practice.Bringing all stakeholders around a table would appear to be the most advisable solution, not least because there remains a degree of mistrust between some publishers and some researchers. Sometimes the presence of diverging interests can motivate such tension, but in other cases there can indeed be factors or aspects to which one category of stakeholder rightfully points, but which are not always foreseeable or even obvious for other categories of stakeholder.In order to be sustainable and to avoid the need for future legislative updates, the provision should be drafted in neutral terms, sufficient to withstand the passage of time and likely evolution of the associated technology.