Last week, MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE) hosted a debate focusing on copyright reform for education and LIBER’s Copyright Working Group was there to speak on the needs of research libraries within this context.
The one day seminar, which was organised by Communia, looked at the type of copyright exception which is needed to support 21st century education, and gathered views from practitioners, experts and policymakers. Maria Rehbinder, Vice Chair of LIBER’s Copyright Working Group and legal counsel at Aalto University, gave the library perspective.
She spoke about the situation in her home country of Finland: universities purchase an extended collective license allowing for educational use. Together these universities pay about €4 million a year to the collecting society Kopiosto, who represents publishers and other rightholders. Materials can only be used by course participants and have to be removed after the course, which limits the use of digital materials.
Kopiosto conducted, together with the university, a study in 2015-2016 on digital university materials. From the study they learned that educators, lecturers, researchers and teachers who create digital educational resources at university, write their own text to their slides. The copyrighted resources teachers use and need are images to illustrate their text.
We advocate for a mandatory exception to allow using works or other subject-matter in digital teaching activities, including online and across borders. We are the voice of thousands of educators, researchers innovators, libraries and scholarly institutions.According to this study, 47% of third party materials used by teachers in their resources are single images found online – and not images found on textbooks or otherwise sourced by publishers. Nevertheless, publishers are getting compensation for those images that they have not published. That happens because the authors of those materials are not necessarily members of Kopisko and, therefore, the licensing fees paid by universities to Kopisko are not being redistributed by them.
Maria also noted the legal uncertainty as related to the licensing approach in Finland, especially the recent Soulier and Doke CJEU case. Overall, she prefers an exception based approach, above a licensing based approach.
For more information, Maria’s slides can be found below. Communia has also published a detailed blog post about the event.