IFLA is pleased to announce the publication of a Statement on Libraries and Text and Data Mining. The IFLA Governing Board approved the statement on 4 December 2013.

There are vast amounts of information and data being generated every day through government, academic, economic and social activities. Text and data mining has emerged as a significant tool to assist individuals and institutions identify patterns, trends and anomalies in data, and to develop new efficiencies and forms of knowledge.

Because the technological process of text and data mining involves copying of works in order to extract information from them, text and data mining is coming into conflict with copyright laws in many parts of the world.  In 2011, the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth in the United Kingdom recommended the adoption of a copyright exception to facilitate text and data mining, and highlighted significant benefits offered by text mining and analytics to support innovation and the development of new knowledge.

IFLA believes that legal certainty for text and data mining (TDM) can only be achieved by (statutory) exceptions. As an organization committed to the principle of freedom of access to information, and the belief that information should be utilised without restriction in ways vital to the educational and cultural well-being of communities, IFLA believes TDM to be an essential tool to the advancement of learning, and new forms of creation.

The IFLA Statement on Text and Data Mining is particularly timely. On 5 December 2013, the European Commission announced its public consultation on modernization of copyright rules. Whether text and data mining should be facilitated by an exception is one question contained within that consultation.