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Welcoming the decision, Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association said: The Publishers Association is grateful to government for listening to publishers’ concerns about the text and data mining exception and recognising the value of a strong intellectual property regime to creators and the UK economy. Publishers stand ready to work with government to ensure our world-leading creative industries and growing AI sector go from strength to strength together.

That exception had been proposed after the UK’s Intellectual Property Office undertook a consultation on how British copyright law should deal with new AI technologies, and especially AI tools that create and produce content.

The proposed new exception was widely criticised by the copyright industries when it was announced during the final days of the Johnson government. In a letter to then Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng, a group of publishing sector organisations shared their collective concern for the decision to introduce a new copyright and database exception and its potential incompatibility with the Berne Convention and the TRIPS Agreement.

George Freeman, Minister of State in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, confirmed that the government is not now planning to introduce the new exception into UK copyright law during a debate in Parliament on 1 February.

‘Let me make it clear that when I returned to office, the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornchurch and Upminster (Julia Lopez), and I met promptly to look at the issue. We have written around to make it clear to other Ministers that the proposals were not correct, that we have met with a huge response, which should have been picked up in the pre-consultation before the proposals were announced, and that we are looking to stop them.

They also added in their communication to other ministers that the proposals had received a significant push back “which should have been picked up in the pre-consultation before the proposals were announced”, and that therefore “we are looking to stop them”.