IFLA has signed the joint letter “Educators ask for a better copyright”, initiated by Communia Association for the Public Domain, which underlines our existing concerns with regards to the education exception of the European copyright reform.

The original proposal for an exception on illustration for teaching in a digital environment, while taking the welcome step of raising the issue, has a number of serious flaws: the creation of rules only applicable to digital uses (with non-digital uses being subject to other legal provisions), the restriction of use of the exception to formal education institutions (so not libraries), and the possibility for member states to give preference to licensing mechanisms. If these rules come into effect, there will not only be additional complexity for teachers, but libraries, whose collections and services are integral to education, and will be formally excluded from benefitting from the exception. 
The letter has been sent to Members of the European Parliament, as well as member states and officials at the European Commission. It has recieved support from 35 organisations representing schools, libraries and non-formal education, and from 4 individual educators and information specialists. It is still possible to sign by sending an email to education@communia-association.org.

IFLA engages in discussions on the European copyright reform, both in order directly to help European members, and to ensure that the Union’s policies set a positive example for governments elsewhere in the world. 

Read the full letter here