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Thesis Open Access

The Role of Copyright In Innovation: a Comparative Analysis of the Legal Framework of Text and Data Mining

De Biasi, Eugenio

Thesis supervisor(s)

Guarda, Paolo

This work aims to analyse the relationship between Text and Data Mining (TDM), i.e. those techniques that allow to derive useful information from the computational analysis of data and texts, and intellectual property law, in particular copyright and database protection law.

A first chapter, which will introduce the reader to the subject of TDM and some of its technical features, as well as its economic potential and practical applications and the main legal issues encountered in its use, namely intellectual property and data protection law, is followed by a second chapter that deals specifically with copyright and its relationship with technological innovation. The chapter will start by introducing the rights that copyright provides, and the justifications for them, their exceptions and the difficult balancing of interests in regulating them. In the second part of the chapter, the history of copyright will be investigated, starting from its origins, going through the different phases of its evolution, up to the present day, concluding how the initially well-considered balance of interests has been lost, gradually shifting towards the private interests of authors and publishers, to the detriment of the public interest.

The third chapter focuses on the problems and obstacles to TDM and on the solutions that were provided in the European context, focusing in particular on the relationship between TDM activities and the rights and exceptions to copyright and database protection as provided by the InfoSoc Directive and Database Directive. The second part deals with the long process that finally led to the recent introduction of two exceptions for TDM by the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market of 2019, thus analysing in detail these clauses, presenting their numerous criticisms and advancing some alternative solutions proposed by European scholars to the issue.

The fourth chapter looks at the phenomenon from a comparative perspective, analysing and comparing the different approaches adopted by the main world powers, such as, among others, the United States, Japan and China.

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