Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive

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Over the next two years, EU member states are required to adopt The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which passed in 2019. Importantly for publishers – scholarly and otherwise, and whether based in the EU or not – this directive provides a clear and explicit formulation of the legal status of copying materials for text and data mining (TDM) and other types of information extraction.

While a narrow, non-commercial exception for scientific research does exist, the Directive leaves in place critical protections around licensing. To capitalize on any opportunities, publishers must maintain clean, reliable metadata for their content, including about authors, institution, license types, and citations.

“I’m a real believer in having infrastructure and standards that kind of enable better and quicker, more effective uses and reuses of content,” explains Duncan Campbell, Senior Director, Global Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, where he is responsible for licensing, agent relations and copyright & permissions for Wiley’s academic journal and database content. In addition, he is also engaged in developing Wiley’s strategies and policies in areas such as government affairs, content sharing/syndication and text & data mining.

“I think that metadata is a crucial component of that,” Campbell continues. “One of the crucial aspects of this is how to identify articles, how to identify versions of articles and the sharing rules that apply to those articles. For example, if I’m a researcher and I’ve downloaded some PDF files of articles to my desktop and I’d like to upload them to a platform, at what point do I know whether I have the rights to upload that? Do I know which article version I’m uploading?”

Campbell, together with CCC’s Roy Kaufman, spoke with me recently for the Beyond the Book podcast series. The program is a “virtual” edition for “Get Fit for Licensing: Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive,” originally scheduled for the second day of London Book Fair 2020.

Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive

“The Digital Single Market Directive actually answers a lot of questions about the copyright status of text and data mining, while, like any piece of legislation, also opening up a brand-new set of questions,” says Kaufman, CCC’s Managing Director of both Business Development and Government Relations.

“The question that the EU was trying to wrestle with was … if you have a subscription to this content, do you need the publisher’s further consent for text and data mining? For that content, the EU decided if it’s sort of an academic, non-commercial use, you don’t need further permission from the publisher, but if it’s a commercial use, you do. This is very much in line with the position that the publishers had taken.”

Read the full transcript here.

Throughout March, CCC is delivering a series of virtual programming planned for London Book Fair presentations. For a complete schedule, please visit copyright.com/lbf2020

Christopher Kenneally

Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's podcast series Beyond the Book, which debuted in 2006 and has posted over 1.5 million downloads. As CCC's Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.

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