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Government U Turn on Text and Data Mining Copyright Exception

A united voice is a stronger voice and on the issue of Text and Data Mining this has resulted in a Government U turn on recommendations which would have boosted AI development by eliminating data mining hurdles.

Following consultation, the Government had made recommendations resulting in outrage and most of the creative industries up in arms. With UK ambitions for AI to revolutionise innovation must come the counter argument, at what cost if it risks the essence of human creativity, skill and endeavour resulting in the UK’s global position as creative industry leaders and influencers?

Dids Macdonald OBE., CEO of ACID said, “The right balance between human IP rights’ creation and computer generated AI must be achieved, If AI is to be unleashed with no boundaries, it is clear from the human creator voice that there will be unintended consequences. Fortunately, sense has prevailed thus far with this rethink. Evidence is a two-way street and there is a legal, moral, and ethical responsibility for Government to provide powerful evidence to support recommendations that risk damaging one of our most precious national assets, the UK’s creative industries.”   

The Minister, The Rt Hon George Freeman, MP.,Has committed as far as he is able, to withdrawing current proposals and that he will consult widely with all parts of our creative industry before putting any further proposals.So said creative industries’ champion Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond who led an articulate campaign on behalf of rights holders culminating in a Westminster debate held on 1 February on the subject.

Over many months, considerable pressure was put on Government by many stakeholders within the creative industries, not least the Alliance for Intellectual Property, acting articulately on behalf of their members submitting compelling evidence and consistently bringing their/our case in front of the decision maker, the Minister.

Prior to the Westminster debate on 1 February, there had been an All-Party Parliamentary Group for IP (APPGIP) meeting when the creative industry concerns were not only reinforced, but the subject of scrutiny from all parliamentary parties, report here.

Olney went on to say,This debate has, perhaps, been a reflection of why our creative sector is such a stronghold of the British economy. We have been debating this cutting-edge technology in the ancient surroundings of Westminster Hall. That really points out the context and the source of so much of the uniqueness in British creativity, across all parts of the UK.

I found it rather chilling, actually, that the phrase that sprung out at me was “software and other tools”—presumably, those other tools are paintbrushes and musical instruments. It highlights that we cannot allow our human input and skills to be swallowed up by AI and, as the hon. Member for Ochil and South Perthshire said, the very derivative nature of what we will be served up as a result.”

Wikipedia says on Text and Data Mining, “TDM (Text and Data Mining) is the automated process of selecting and analysing large amounts of text or data resources for purposes such as searching, finding patterns, discovering relationships, semantic analysis and learning how content relates to ideas and needs.”

According to Paul Sawers at Tech Crunch on the Government recommendations, he said, “This new copyright and database rights exception, which the government plans to enshrine in “suitable legislation” in due course, effectively moves the balance of power away from rightsholders and heavily toward businesses and other commercial entities. But the transition could have unintended consequences, according to some. Under the proposed new rules, the data-miner still has to acquire the data through lawful means, meaning that it has to be publicly available (e.g. as part of a subscription). So rightsholders who may previously have charged for TDM as part of a data-licensing model may instead withhold their data altogether, which could adversely impact AI development in the future.”

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