CLARIN withdraws from the Licences for Europe dialogue

Submitted by Thorsten Trippel on 26 June 2013

In a letter of June 23rd, 2013, CLARIN ERIC officially announced its withdrawal from the Licences for Europe dialogue (LfE). In a letter to the chair persons of the Working Group 4 of the Licences for Europe dialogue, the executive director of the CLARIN ERIC, Steven Krauwer, expressed the interest of the research community of coming to agreements on how to use (commercial) material for Text and Data Mining (TDM). He also expressed that the current dialogue excludes problematic areas that arose with technological developments of the past years, especially with regards to intellectual property rights legislation and its overly restricting consequences for the research community. The full text of his letter is released below.

Dear WG4 Chairs,
On behalf of the CLARIN ERIC Board of Directors I would like to let you know the following:
  1. We have with great interest participated in the LfE dialogue, which has given us a better understanding of the position of the various stakeholders and has also given us an opportunity to share with them the needs and expectations as perceived by the language sciences community served by CLARIN.
  2. Our conclusion from this dialogue is that copyright legislation has not kept pace with recent changes in our environment, such as (but not limited to) technological developments, the changing role of language data in research, the strong movement towards open access promoted by the EC, the building of the ERA with equal opportunities for all languages, not hampered by local legislation or market considerations, and the increasing demand for replicability of research results. European copyright legislation should be re-thought and amended in a principled way before any non ad hoc solutions based on licenses can be implemented.
  3. As a consequence CLARIN ERIC will withdraw from the LfE dialogue, but will be ready to contribute to a continuation of the dialogue with the other stakeholders, where the scope is not restricted to licensing solutions under the current copyright legislation, but will also address copyright legislation as such.
  4. As we realize that any reform of legislation may be a time consuming process, and as we cannot afford to live in a copyright licenses vacuum until new legislation is in place CLARIN ERIC intends to continue its constructive dialogues with publishers that were initiated prior to and during LfE, but on a private basis, rather than with a view to arriving at general solutions that would work for the whole TDM community. This will also allow us to accommodate the fact that even though TDM is an important activity for CLARIN its usage of copyright protected language data has a much broader scope than what would normally be covered by licenses prepared to cover TDM.
Steven Krauwer
CLARIN ERIC Executive Director

Further information

More information on the stakeholder dialogue "Licences for Europe" and the withdrawal of the community of users can be found at the following sites: