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Seeking to devise an adequate regulatory framework for text and data mining (TDM), countries around the globe have adopted different approaches. While considerable room for TDM can follow from the application of fair use provisions (US) and broad statutory exemptions (Japan), countries in the EU rely on a more restrictive regulation that is based on specific copyright exceptions. Surveying this spectrum of existing approaches, lawmakers in countries seeking to devise an appropriate TDM regime may wonder whether the adoption of a restrictive approach is necessary in the light of international copyright law. In particular, they may feel obliged to ensure compliance with the three-step test laid down in Art. 9(2) of the Berne Convention, Art. 13 of the TRIPS Agreement and Art. 10 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. Against this background, the analysis raises the question whether international copyright law covers TDM activities at all. TDM does not concern a traditional category of use that could have been contemplated at the diplomatic conferences leading to the current texts of the Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO Copyright Treaty. It is an automated, analytical type of use that does not affect the expressive core of literary and artistic works. Arguably, TDM constitutes a new category of copying that falls outside the scope of international copyright harmonization altogether.