Thursday, May 11, 2017

Copyright exceptions for research need attention at WIPO

Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) continued discussions of a possible international instrument dealing with limitations and exceptions to copyright for educational, teaching and research institutions and persons with other disabilities.

IP Watch reports that proposals have now been narrowed to a core set.  While this core set retains many important proposals relating to educational institutions, many past proposals relating to research institutions have disappeared, including an important proposal relating to data gathering that is core to research.  Past proposals made before WIPO have included important exceptions that would help drive digital research, including data mining, which is becoming more and more key to scholarship.  The following proposal, which I view as especially important, was not included in the core set:
The reproduction and reuse by search engines, automated knowledge discovery tools, or other digital means now known or later discovered of any lawfully obtained copyrighted work for purposes of not-for-profit scientific research, including storage, archiving, linking, data mining procedures, data manipulation, and virtual scientific experiments subject to attribution of the sources used to the extent reasonably feasible (page 33)
 Research institutions may need to keep a close eye on the SCCR discussions to ensure that research interests, as well as educational interests, are met.