With work underway in the European to develop new rules for internet platforms which will likely have a global impact, it is important to ensure that the values and interests of libraries are heard. IFLA has therefore submitted comments on two initial roadmaps, and will continue to monitor the dossier and keep members informed.

Following extensive discussions about the role of internet platforms during debates on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, ahead of its adoption last year, the European Union is now looking to update the wider framework of rules that determine what responsibilities they should have by creating a Digital Services Act.

As a first step, the European Commission has therefore issued two draft roadmaps, whose objective is to identify the different areas to be covered by the Digital Service Act reform.

In looking to regulate major digital players, the reforms could bring significant changes in the digital sector, in particular the legal rules around safe harbours provisions for internet intermediaries, questions around how to respond to ‘fake news’ , the power companies can gain through gathering data, and  consumer rights and protection when working with digital services in general. 

As a result, there are potential implications for libraries when promoting free expression and access to information, media literacy, encouraging users to share creativity online, access to eBooks, and potentially the growing importance of data in scholarly communications. 

IFLA has therefore submitted responses to the two below draft roadmaps launched by the European Commission on 2 June 2020, highlighting the need to ensure that any steps taken support rather than harm the ability of libraries to do their jobs.  

  • Deepening the Internal Market and clarifying responsibilities for digital services.
  • Ex ante regulatory instrument for large online platforms with significant network effects acting as gate-keepers in the European Union’s internal market.

You can read IFLA’s responses as pdfs: Deepening the Internal Market; Ex Ante Regulatory Instrument