January 24, 2022

The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery In The Digital Age Launches

UPDATE: An organization that’s frequently mentioned on infoDOCKET, ARL (Association for Research Libraries), have posted an announcement about The Hague Declaration. See: “ARL Joins Hague Declaration for Changes to Intellectual Property Law, Equal Access to Knowledge.”

UPDATE 2: Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) Signs Declaration

UPDATE 3: IFLA Signs The Hague Declaration

From Today’s Launch Announcement:

Li_Decl_logoPayoff_RGB_72-01-01-850x475Over 50 organisations have signed The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age, which calls for immediate changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers preventing widened and more equal access to data.

Improved treatments for diseases, answers to global issues such as climate change and billions in government savings are among the potential benefits to be gained, if the principles outlined in the Declaration are adopted by governments, businesses and society.

The Declaration asserts that copyright was never designed to regulate the sharing of facts, data and ideas ‒ nor should it. The right to receive and impart information and ideas is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but the modern application of IP law often limits this right, even when these most simple building blocks of knowledge are used.

“The rapidly changing digital environment, increased computing power and the sheer quantity of data being produced makes it essential for researchers and society to be able to use modern techniques and tools to help them make new discoveries. Research practices could be revolutionised and lives could literally be saved, if we can achieve better access to the knowledge contained within Big Data,” said Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, President of LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, which has led work to develop the Declaration.

A new approach to knowledge discovery is critical at a time when society is facing a literal data deluge. The digital universe, or the data we create and copy annually, is doubling in size every two years and is expected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020.

In addition to clarity around the scope of IP law, a skills gap and a lack of infrastructure must also be addressed if computers are to be better employed to extract and recombine data in order to identify patterns and trends. This process, known as Content Mining, is widely recognised as the only way to deal effectively with Big Data.

“Given the need to make sense of the ever-expanding literature and derive new insights, the Wellcome Trust strongly supports the right of researchers to mine content to which they already have lawful access. The Hague Declaration is an important step in demonstrating the common vision that knowledge discovery and reuse should not be constrained by existing legal frameworks and uncertainty. In particular, we are advocating for reform of copyright law at European level to permit data and text mining for all uses, both commercial and non-commercial,” said Will Greenacre, Policy Officer at The Wellcome Trust.

Organisations and individuals who wish to support the Declaration can add their signature on the official website,www.thehaguedeclaration.com. In so doing, they will officially recognise the huge potential for knowledge discovery whilst also acknowledging that steps need to be taken to ensure that everyone can benefit from this potential.

Read the Declaration

Source: The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery In The Digital Age Website

List of Organizations that Have Signed Declaration (as of 5/6/2015)

African Institute for Economic Development and Planning
Association of Research Libraries
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
COAR: Confederation of Open Access Repositories
Collegium Artium
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Consortium of European Research Libraries
Content Mine
CRAI Universitat de Barcelona
Creative Commons
Creative Commons Nigeria
CSC – IT Center for Science, Finland
CSUC. Libraries, information and documentation division (CBUC)
Durham University
EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries)
European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA)
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Europeana Foundation
Genomics and Computational Biology, Kernel Press UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
German National Library of Science and Technology
Greek Free/Open Source Software Society (GFOSS)
Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino / Institute of Contemporary History
Intellectual Property Institute IPI
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Leiden University Libraries
LIBER Europe
Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance
Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)
Lithuanian Research Library Consortium
Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania
Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica / National and University Library of Slovenia
National Library of Estonia
National Library of Finland
Open Knowledge
Open Rights Group
Public Knowledge
Recorded Future
Research Libraries UK
Spanish Network of University Libraries (REBIUN)
SPARC Europe
Swedish Library Association/Svensk biblioteksförening
Ubiquity Press
Université catholique de Louvain
University Carlos III of Madrid
University of Bath Library
Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bibliotheek, Archief & Documentatie (VVBAD)
Wellcome Trust
World Wide Web Foundation

A list of individuals who have signed the declaration can be found at the bottom of this page.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.