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Organisations withdraw from Europe's text and data mining dialogue

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Groups representing the research sector, SMEs and open-access publishers have withdrawn from the Licences for Europe dialogue on text and data mining (TDM) due to concerns about the scope, composition and transparency of the process.

A letter of withdrawal sent to the Commissioners involved in Licences for Europe explained the stakeholders' concerns with the way the dialogue was going and their wish to instigate a broader dialogue around creating the conditions to realise the full potential of TDM for innovation in Europe.

According to the organisations, '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.'

The letter was signed by: 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; Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue; National Centre for Text Mining, University of Manchester; European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science (ENCES); and Jisc.

Licences for Europe is a joint initiative led by Commissioners Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) to 'deliver rapid progress in bringing content online through practical industry-led solutions'. It aims to engage stakeholders in four areas: cross-border access and the portability of services; user-generated content and licensing; audiovisual sector and cultural heritage; and text and data mining.

The withdrawal is said to follow 'much communication with the Commission on the issue', including a letter of concern sent on 26 February and signed by over 60 organisations, and the Commission's response.