reCreating Europe Project Closure – Three Years of Reimagining Digital Copyright Law
After three years of work, the reCreating Europe project culminated in a two-day conference in Brussels, Belgium, last month. The project has produced an impressive portfolio of work examining digital copyright law and how these laws can affect access to digital culture for various stakeholder groups. The policy recommendations produced aim to ‘re-imagine’ digital copyright law for a more culturally diverse, accessible, and creative Europe.
Over the past years, LIBER has participated in reCreating Europe as dissemination and communication partner, helping to raise awareness and foster engagement with project outputs. LIBER has worked to engage the research library community in reCreating’s work, particularly regarding cultural heritage institutions (GLAMs) and the copyright laws that provide barriers, but also opportunities, to their work.
reCreating Europe Final Conference
Three years of intense research and dissemination activities culminated in reCreating Europe’s final conference, which took place in Brussels on 21-22 March 2023. The Conference was an opportunity for project partners to celebrate, connect and discuss their results with reCreating’s key stakeholder groups, EU policy-makers, members of the European Parliament, academics, legal practitioners, representatives of NGOs, and copyright enthusiasts at large. Over 80 participants enjoyed two days of panels, keynote speeches and presentations on all things digital copyright law.
The first day was hosted by the Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels. The day was devoted to the presentation of the project’s substantive research results, which were then commented on by distinguished scholars and members of the project’s key stakeholder categories.
On the second day, attention turned to policy. Hosted by the European Parliament, project partners presented the policy recommendations stemming from their research. The session was complemented by the opening addresses of MEP Brando Benifei, MEP Axel Voss, and Marco Giorello (Head of the Copyright Unit, DG CONNECT).
reCreating Europe and the LIBER network
reCreating Europe focused on several different areas of digital copyright law, including the impact of legal practices within libraries and archives. A set of FAQs and Guidelines for Libraries and Archives (LAs) was created, and an event on Secondary Publishing Rights examined the impact of copyright on publishing. The project also examined the opportunities and dangers of AI technologies, which are increasingly used within the library sector. Furthermore, Work Package 2 of the project examined how copyright law poses barriers and opportunities for vulnerable users of digital culture (visually impaired users, hearing impaired users, minority groups etc). Clear lessons can be learned here for the presentation of digital culture in libraries and archives for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
LIBER, as Dissemination, Communication and Expertise Building leaders within the project, helped translate project findings into engagement and training activities. LIBER supported a range of webinars and developed the reCreating Training Toolkit – a catalogue of materials produced by the project and its partners that can be used and referenced for third-party training activities.
Anna Clements, Chair of LIBER’s Steering Committee for ‘Research Libraries as Engaged and Trusted Hubs’, summarised the importance of LIBER’s involvement in reCreating Europe for the research library community:
“Participation in the reCreating Europe project underlines LIBER’s commitment to working with others to reform copyright laws for the benefit of research and education in an open digital world; a commitment that firmly positions research libraries as engaged and trusted hubs for all of our stakeholders.” – Anna Clements
The future of reCreating Europe
LIBER will continue its work on the theme of copyright law with the Knowledge Rights 21 Project (KR21). KR21 advocates for a 21st-century copyright environment across Europe that is friendly to the modern delivery and use of education and research materials. LIBER recently took the lead in the Secondary Publishing Rights Work Package of KR21, which will pave the way toward immediate republication of publicly funded research on open access repositories, regardless of publisher contracts. LIBER has long been involved with the topic, having initiated a model law for the use of publicly funded scholarly publications, followed by its Zero Embargo campaign.
For more information about LIBER’s participation in reCreating Europe and our work in International Projects, contact Andrej Vrcon at email@example.com.