Copyright Clearance Center completely misrepresents user views on Text and Data Mining; we do not want “market-based solutions”

The latest ScholarlyKitchen features an interview with Roy Kaufman the head of the CopyrightClearanceCenter (CCC). CCC operates the Rightslink service which charges readers for re-use of scholarly articles (“the [RL] customer is usually the publisher”) . “Founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization, CCC has paid more than $1.3 billion in royalties to rightsholders [publishers] over the past 10 years.”

I commenting on one paragraph (my emphasis) to which I take total exception:

Q. What does your position at CCC involve?

A. CCC’s mission involves “making copyright work.”  My role as Managing Director of New Ventures is to work on products and services that respond to market inefficiencies and failures,  real or perceived.  For example, in the UK there was a government copyright review that concluded a market failure around text and data mining, and that an exception might be needed in the copyright law.  Using this conclusion as a starting point, CCC started to ask users and publishers about text and data mining: Was it needed? Is there a market failure or inefficiency? What would be needed to correct it?  We learned there are willing buyers and willing sellers; that copyright exceptions are not the answer, but that access, lack of license normalization, and lack of content normalization across publishers is a stumbling block.  With this information, we began crafting a market-based solution.  My job is to help identify issues like this and, with the relevant teams, gather users and rightsholders to see if solutions can be built.

It is completely unjustified to state that users believe “copyright exceptions are not the answer”. Exceptions are exactly the view that the UK government has taken. Exceptions have been vigorously challenged by closed access publishers but there is no evidence that authors or users have argued against it. Copyright exceptions involve the recognition that it is legal to extract content for data analytics.

I and colleagues (below) have made a strong and consistent case for exceptions, including Licences for Europe (where we dispute the need for further licences (“market based solution”). The closed access publishers have fought this and we have been unable to continue and have withdrawn from the process. ( ). : we wrote:

While we are deeply committed to working with the Commission on the removal of legal and other environmental barriers to TDM, we believe that any meaningful engagement on the legal framework within which data-driven innovation exists must address the issue of limitations and exceptions. The current approach of the Commission instead places licensing as the central pillar of the discussion.

Includes the signatories:

The Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), The Coalition for a Digital Economy, European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA), The Open Knowledge Foundation, Communia, Ubiquity Press Ltd., TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue, National Centre for Text Mining, University of Manchester, European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science (ENCES), Jisc

It is therefore totally false to suggest that users have argued against exceptions. Exceptions do not require a “market-based solution” (which I suspect mean more licensing, more payment to publishers of closed access content.





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