ALCS signs letter to Government on text and data mining exception 

21 July 2022

ALCS has signed a letter this month together with several other industry leaders to protect creators from text and data mining when developing AI.  

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) recently held a consultation, which closed in January, on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be dealt with in relation to patent and copyright systems. The Government presented a range of options looking for views from organisations, like ours, on what would be best. This is an important issue for creators as our IP systems are in place to protect creative works made by our members. 

We believe that this will have a negative impact on creators, so we’ve have jointly signed a letter with the Alliance for Intellectual Property to the current Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to reconsider the repercussions.

The consultation proposed a range of options, with one specific section looking at how text and data is used when developing AI technology, called text and data mining (TDM) exception. The British Copyright Council, which ALCS sits on, put in a response detailing that no new legal exception was necessary to enable innovation and growth. The current balance between protecting creatives and allowing technology to flourish is already in place and we do not want to compromise that equilibrium. 

The IPO published its outcome on 28 June. Despite warnings from ALCS and others in the industry, the Government has decided to introduce a new copyright exception which allows TDM for any purpose

We believe that this will have a negative impact on creators, so we’ve have jointly signed a letter with the Alliance for Intellectual Property to the current Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to reconsider the repercussions. The letter has the support of MPs and Peers who have already raised this issue in parliament. We will continue to push for our members to be protected and will update with any progress moving forward. 

If you have any questions on this issue, please email advocacy@alcs.co.uk.