Libraries deserve an information infrastructure that enables research in their institutions to be world class.
For this infrastructure to thrive, it must be part of an ecosystem that can accommodate and nurture the changing nature of research and innovation in the digital age. As the infrastructure evolves to accommodate rapid advances in information technology, an explosion in the production of data and a culture shift towards collaboration and openness, so too must the surrounding policies and legislation.
The evolution of copyright and associated intellectual property legislation has so far not kept pace with the digital age. Without significant changes to European legislation, Europe’s research potential will not be fully realised.
What is LIBER’s position?
We believe that copyright reform is urgently needed. If we aim to be competitive in terms of quality research output, we cannot afford to delay the process of reform. That is why LIBER is actively advocating for a more flexible copyright system. In particular, we are calling for:
- Better harmonisation of legal and technical requirements for sharing content across EU member states;
- All exceptions related to education, learning and access to knowledge to be made mandatory;
- A specific exception for text and data mining for all research purposes;
- For the wording of the Information Society Directive to be expanded so that it also applies to digital preservation activities;
- Safe-guarding from contracts undermining limitations and exceptions in copyright law;
- Provisions to allow e-lending by libraries, similar to analogue lending;
- Publicly-funded research results to be made openly available regardless of contracts signed with a publisher;
- Research exceptions that make no distinction between commercial and non-commercial purposes;
- Data such as hyperlinks to remain free of all intellectual property rights. They are a building block of knowledge and must be freely usable and shareable by anyone for any purpose;
- The minimum terms of protection in Europe (currently 70 years) to be reduced to life plus 50 years for copyrighted works.
How is LIBER helping?
Our Working Group on Copyright actively follows developments in copyright reform at a European level, and issues statements to reinforce the position and needs of research libraries in regards to copyright. This group, which frequently works with other prominent organisations and experts from the broader scholarly community, played a key role in shaping LIBER’s reaction to the 2016 proposals for copyright reform. The Copyright Working Group has also been instrumental in our push for a copyright exception for Text and Data Mining.