UKIPO scraps plans to extend the text and data mining exception for copyright and database rights
The UKIPO’s planned extension to the text and data mining exception for copyright and the sui generis database right to cover "any purpose" has been cancelled.
In July of 2022, the UK Government responded to a consultation conducted into artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property by announcing a change to the law concerning the existing exception to copyright and database rights for text and data mining. This proposed change would have extended the existing exception for non-commercial purposes to allow text and data mining for any purpose, thus including commercial uses.
It was seen by the Government at the time that extending the exception would encourage AI innovation in the UK.
However, in a recent Parliamentary debate, the UK Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation, George Freeman, announced that any plans to introduce such a change to the existing exception have been cancelled. It would appear that the proposed change was met with significant and unforeseen resistance.
Therefore, for the time-being, the situation remains that text and data mining can only be legitimately performed on third party data for non-commercial purposes or otherwise with the permission of the rights holder. This exception has not been extended to cover commercial purposes and any plans to do so have been cancelled.
That being said, this is a developing area in UK law likely to receive significant attention in the coming months and years as the commercial importance of AI continues to increase.
Indeed, during the debate, it was mentioned that there was a need "to get the balance right" with any future proposal, and so we should expect the conversation to continue.
In the meantime, should you have any queries regarding text and data mining or AI inventions, please contact your usual D Young and Co representative.