ananyo writes "Disagreement between scientists and publishers has grown on a thorny issue: how to make it easier for computer programs to extract facts and data from online research papers. On 22 May, researchers, librarians and others pulled out of European Commission talks on how to encourage the techniques, known as text mining and data mining. The withdrawal has effectively ended the contentious discussions, although a formal abandonment can be decided only after a commission review in July. Scientists have chafed for years at limitations on computer-aided research. They would like to use computer programs to crawl over thousands or millions of articles and other online research content, extracting data to build up databases or to pick out patterns such as associations between genes and diseases. But in many parts of the world, including Europe (though perhaps not in the U.S. — the situation is unclear), this sort of use currently requires permission from the content's copyright owner. Even if an institution has paid to access a journal, its academics do not necessarily have permission to mine the text."