Wednesday, February 05, 2014

LIBER position statement on copyright in the digital age

In December (2013),LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche - Association of European Research Libraries) released a position statement on copyright reform and copyright in the digital age.  The position statement is based on three principles:
  1. Copyright should foster, not hinder, innovation and competitiveness.
  2. Access to and use of publicly funded research should not be unduly restricted by copyright.
  3. Preservation of, and access to, cultural heritage must be supported by copyright exceptions
In terms of digitization, the position statement notes:
The Author’s Guild versus Google Books ruling in the United States recognises the enormous potential for researchers to benefit from the mass digitisation of books. It also places Europe at a disadvantage. Due to territorial issues, this content is not available to European researchers. Rather than facilitating digitisation at scale, there is the danger that requirements set out under the Orphan Works Directive may prevent European libraries from effectively competing with their American counterparts to counterbalance a Google Books monopoly. The implementation and impact of the Orphan Works Directive should be monitored and evaluated with this in mind. The Memorandum of Understanding on Out of Commerce Works also needs to be reinforced by supporting legislation so that it is implemented uniformly across Europe.
The position statement also addresses preservation and other areas that will be important to readers of this blog.  It is worth a read.  If you leave/work in the European Union, consider helping to push this forward.

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