The UK government has halted its plans to introduce a new copyright exception for text and data mining (TDM) for commercial purposes. Farrer & Co recently reported on the proposed TDM exception: you can read about the background to the proposal here.
On 22 November 2022, DCMS Minister Julia Lopez MP gave evidence to the Lords Communications and Digital Committee and expressed that she is “fairly confident” that the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) would not proceed with its proposal and instead, would extend its consultation.
This development follows a joint letter from a number of organisations in the publishing sector (collectively the “Publishers Content Forum”) to former Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in July 2022. The letter argued that the proposed TDM exception would undermine the UK’s “world-leading” copyright framework, and “conflict with international law” including the three-step test in the Berne Convention and Article 13 of Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The letter also noted that rights-holders would be forced to either “exit the UK market or apply paywalls where access to content is currently free” because the proposed exception would prevent rights-holders from licensing or receiving payment for the use of their data and content.
The IPO has committed to reviewing the concerns of creative industries in “greater detail” and will look to revise its proposal.
Julia Lopez MP commented that intellectual property is the “lifeblood” of the creative industries and stated that she met with George Freeman, the Minister with responsibility for the IPO, to discuss the plans. She also relayed that the IPO is examining some of the concerns in greater detail to see whether the proposals can be revised.
Read our previous article “Text and data mining copyright exception proposal to encourage AI focus and innovation in the UK” here.
With many thanks to Toby Stacey, Trainee Solicitor, for his contribution to this article.
This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
© Farrer & Co LLP, December 2022