Proposed new copyright law exception on text and data mining scrapped | Fieldfisher
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Proposed new copyright law exception on text and data mining scrapped

Fiona Waples


United Kingdom

It has been confirmed that the proposed broadening of the text and data mining exception to copyright and database right infringement will not go ahead after all.

Earlier in February, George Freeman MP (the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation) confirmed that the proposal to introduce a broader exception to copyright and database right infringement will not proceed. This comes shortly after a report (House of Lords - At risk: our creative future - Communications and Digital Committee ( was published by the House of Lords in which it alluded that the proposals might be shelved. 

As a reminder to those who have not followed this development, I refer to our blogs of July 2022 and November 2021: which we discussed the results of the UKIPO consultations concerning the development of Artificial Intelligence technologies in the context of Intellectual Property. One of the outcomes of the second consultation was a proposal to broaden the current exception to allow text and data mining for commercial purposes. At the moment, the exception only applies to non-commercial research purposes.

There was strong criticism of the proposal, particularly from those in the creative industries. There were fears that broadening the exception would allow those wishing to rely upon the exception to “scrape” copyright protected works for whatever purpose, without any consideration of protecting rightsholders' interests or any payment.

However, the Minister has taken it one step further and confirmed that the proposed exception will not be proceeding. He also indicated that further consultation would be sought from those within the industry "to ensure that we can […] frame proposals that will command the support required".

We will have to watch this space to see whether revised proposals are introduced in future, or in fact whether further consultations are launched by the UKIPO.

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