UK to expand data mining freedom for AI

International Business News  –  On June 28, 2022, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) announced that the UK will expand the application of the data mining copyright exception following a review of artificial intelligence policy.

UKIPO conducted a consultation on IP and AI issues between October 2021 and January 2022, the results of which confirmed the above policy.

As part of the consultation, UKIPO asked stakeholders whether the current UK patent and copyright law was appropriate to deal with intellectual property issues in the field of artificial intelligence.

One of the biggest debates in the UK and internationally is whether intellectual property offices should grant patents listing AI applications as inventors.

But UKIPO has decided to take no action and limit the most significant policy changes to the copyright area.

The biggest change in intellectual property policy will be the expansion of the data mining copyright exception. Data mining is the process of using software to analyze data, including for training artificial intelligence.

Under the UK government’s scheme, anyone with legal access to copyrighted material can carry out this kind of data analysis without further permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright owners can still control access to their data by others, but can not charge additional fees to interested parties for data mining purposes.

Data mining of copyrighted material is legal in the UK, but only for non-commercial use. This means that the current exception does not apply to the training of many AI programs. Matt Hervey, head of artificial intelligence law at London law firm Gowling WLG, said that the UK’s new policy was more favourable than EU rules, which allow data mining but copyright owners can opt out.

“The UK government is taking a very pro-innovation position for text and data mining,” Hervey said.

He added: “Compared to EU rules, having no opt-out mechanism is more conducive to commercial AI innovation and supports our world-class AI industry.”

British Science, Research and Innovation Minister George Freeman said the UK’s copyright framework would be one of the most AI-friendly in the world.

Freeman said: “The UK’s new rules on copyright and data mining will be a catalyst for innovation organisations to flourish, helping to ensure that the UK’s intellectual property system remains a strong enabler of breakthrough research and development.”

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