Text and data mining : new exception proposed for UK copyright law

Publié le 10 avril 2014, par Thérèse Hameau

Government takes important step towards modernising copyright | 27 March 2014

Changes to bring UK copyright law up to date for the digital age have taken an important step forward today (27 March 2014), as the government publishes the final Exceptions to Copyright regulations for consideration by Parliament.

The changes make small but important reforms to UK copyright law and aim to end the current situation where minor and reasonable acts of copying which benefit consumers, society and the economy are unlawful. They also remove a range of unnecessary rules and regulations from the statute book in line with the government’s aim to reduce regulation.


The regulations will now be debated in both Houses of Parliament. If the regulations are approved they will come into force on 1 June 2014.

Intellectual Property Office : Changes to copyright law and guidance

Draft Statutory Instruments and supporting Explanatory Memorandum


The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) Regulations 2014 (excerpts)

29A Copies for text and data analysis for non-commercial research

(1) The making of a copy of a work by a person who has lawful access to the work does not infringe copyright in the work provided that—

(a)the copy is made in order that a person who has lawful access to the work may carry out a computational analysis of anything recorded in the work for the sole purpose of research for a non-commercial purpose, and

(b)the copy is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement (unless this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise).

Guidance on changes to copyright law

Guidance Research (excerpts)

Text and Data Mining for non-commercial research

Text and data mining is the use of automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends and other useful information. Text and data mining usually requires copying of the work to be analysed. Currently, researchers using text and data mining in their research risk infringing copyright unless they have specific permission from the copyright owner.

What’s changing ?

The new copyright exception will allow researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to read the work (that is, work that they have “lawful access” to). They will be able to do this without having to obtain additional permission from the rights holder. This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research. Researchers will still have to buy subscriptions to access material ; this could be from many sources including academic publishers.

Publishers and content providers will be able to apply reasonable measures to maintain their network security or stability but these measures should not prevent or unreasonably restrict researcher’s ability to text and data mine. Contract terms that stop researchers making copies to carry out text and data mining will be unenforceable.