Insights News Media Association submits response to IPO’s consultation on intellectual property rights and Artificial Intelligence, warning against strengthening text and data mining exceptions

The NMA warns in its submission that the UK should not be tempted to adopt a more permissive regime for text and data mining, which could further boost the ability of platforms and aggregators to profit from news publishers’ journalism without their consent.

In its submission, the NMA says that Government proposals to strengthen text and data mining exceptions, which allow companies to extract data from websites using AI, could “embolden the unlevied use of news media data by a whole range of other businesses”.

The reality is, the NMA says, that “while news publishers have expressed strong concerns about the ‘take it or leave it’ terms imposed by dominant search engines such as Google, in relation to text and data aggregation, the government’s proposals risk enabling a much broader swathe of companies to plunder news media data without paying equitable compensation”.

The NMA continues that it is aware of “an ever-widening range of businesses that are rapidly developing AI applications with the capability to source and combine news data sources on a mass scale”.

The NMA warns that brand safety vendors that “crawl our newspapers websites to prevent ad misplacement are using their position as a way to further crawl news publisher sites in order to target advertising based on keywords or emotional sentiment, building audience segments that they are able to sell to advertisers”.

The effect of this mass use of news publisher data is “to undermine the ability of news publishers to build and sell advertising inventory on their own terms”, the NMA adds.

The NMA has called for the preservation of the UK’s narrow copyright exception for text and data mining that enables computational analysis solely for the purpose of non-commercial research. “The UK should not be tempted to adopt a more permissive regime since this would unfairly skew the balance between the interests of IP owners and data holders on the one hand and those of data users on the other”, the NMA concludes. To read the NMA’s news release in full, click here.