5 July 2018

New Opportunities: European Parliament Opens Way to Plenary Debate about EU Copyright Directive

European Parliament Building

European Parliament, Strasbourg. By Octavio Espinosa Campodonico CC BY-SA 4.0 https://bit.ly/2KNJ0Jn

The European Parliament today voted to reject the version of the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market proposed by its Legal Affairs Committee. This decision will lead to a debate in September in plenary, with all 751 Members of the European Parliament able to propose amendments.

For IFLA, it will be important to preserve those elements where the Committee made progress, and make improvements in others.

The vote, which followed an intense period of communication from all parties involved in the discussions, focused extensively on two issues – new proposed rights for press publishers, and new obligations on Internet platforms to prevent copyrighted content being uploaded to the Internet without licensing agreements.

On both of these issues, despite efforts to protect libraries and their users from any immediate effects on core services, there remained serious concerns about their impacts on library values and broader free expression and access to information. See IFLA’s briefing on Article 13 and blog on filters in particular for more.

The proposed text also contained dangerous amendments which would have undermined the effectiveness of all new exceptions, and locked away heritage, as set out in our blog on Article 6.

Yet there were positives – a proposed exception allowing libraries to give access to works which are not available on the market, a broader exception on text and data mining, and steps towards giving libraries the possibility to make use of education exceptions.

Now, more than ever, it is important for libraries across Europe to engage their Members of the European Parliament, in support of progress, and against backwards steps. We need to ensure that today’s vote proves to be a step towards better copyright laws for libraries.

For more information, see the collection of resources on the Directive co-created by IFLA.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to knowledge, Copyright, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, Europe, Preservation

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