With the diffusion of digital information technology, data mining (DM) is widely expected to increase the productivity of all kinds of research activities. Based on bibliometric data, we demonstrate that the share of DM-related research articles in all published academic papers has increased substantially over the last two decades. We develop an ordinal categorization of countries according to essential aspects of the copyright system affecting the costs and benefits of DM research. We demonstrate that countries in which data mining for academic research requires the express consent of rights holders, data mining makes up a significantly smaller share of total research output. To our knowledge, this is the first time that an empirical study identified a significant negative association between copyright protection and innovation. We also show that within countries where DM requires express consent by rights holders, there is an inverse relationship between rule of law indicators and the share of DM related articles in all research articles.