The French Digital Council expressed its satisfaction with the adoption of the Digital Bill by the joint committee composed of senators and deputies. An intense debate preceded the bill’s adoption, as over 2500 amendments were put forward. The Digital Council highlighted the great quality of these discussions which confirms the increasing importance for the national representatives of the debated matters. The Digital Council welcomes many elements of the bill such as open data; a balanced right to portability; the measures promoting accessibility and inclusion; the exception to copyright in order to enable scientific text and data mining, etc.
Based on the compromised version of the Digital Republic Bill agreed by senators and deputies on 29 June 2016, some of the bill highlights are:
In order to ensure copyright protection, current French law forbids scientists to reuse published scientific articles. The legislators risk heavily undermining public research by creating multiple legal hurdles to text and data mining. Unlike their counterparts abroad, copyright and databases laws do not allow French scientists to reuse scientific articles, even their own or those they purchased. Therefore it is imperative that the Digital Republic Bill takes this into consideration and allows for an exception to copyright laws that would enable and encourage text and data mining. This would enable the French research community to seize new scientific opportunities and would curtail researchers’ departure abroad.