Non-consumptive research use

An analysis of the legal situation by Julien Baudry, Couperin

Non-consumptive research is research in which the researcher’s only use of a digital resource is to apply computer (computational) analysis to it, rather than to ‘humanly’ read and understand substantial parts of it in order to intellectually assimilate its content.

Examples of non-consumptive research uses are text extraction, automated text analysis, automated translation, automatically generated synthesis and statistical reports, automated indexing, etc.

Legal consequences of this concept in Anglo-Saxon law are that since 2009, non-consumptive research has been treated as fair use, i.e. use that does not require specific permission. This point is contested by representatives of copyright holders, but is widely used by university libraries to authorise their researchers to use digital resources for non-consumptive research purposes.