5 March 2014

In September 2013, the European Parliament recognised the need to reform EU copyright rules within its European Parliamentary resolution on “Promoting the European Cultural and Creative Sectors as sources of economic growth and jobs” (T7-0368/2013)1. In that resolution, the European Parliament:

52.  Stresses that the existence of 27 different intellectual property rights management systems is a particular burden for Europe’s CCS, and that the current fragmented regime needs to be reformed to facilitate access to, and increase (global) circulation of, content, and in such a way as to enable artists, creators, consumers, businesses and audiences to benefit from digital developments, new distribution channels, new business models and other opportunities;

53.   Believes that in the digital era, a modern and balanced system for protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) which makes it possible both to ensure appropriate remuneration for all categories of rightholders and to guarantee that consumers have easy access to diverse, legal content and a real choice in terms of linguistic and cultural diversity, is an essential condition for ensuring that the CCS are competitive;

54.  Stresses that the protection of IPRs should not threaten the neutrality of the internet.”

IFLA believes a balanced copyright reform should provide sufficient protections for EU creative industries without restricting essential research and development, and access to information in the public interest.

IFLA’s submission focuses on:

  • Linking and browsing (11-12)
  • Limitations and exceptions in the Single Market (21-27)
  • eLending (36 – 39)
  • Text and data mining (54-55)
  • Internet intermediary responsibilities (76)

Questions that are unanswered should not be interpreted as of low importance to libraries in the European Union. A number of IFLA members are putting in their own submissions addressing these questions, with the benefit of regional examples. IFLA’s submission limits itself to questions where the experiences of its international membership may prove beneficial.

In summary, IFLA’s submission maintains that:

  • There is a need for a flexible, open ended exception to better keep pace with evolving technologies and services;
  • In an increasingly globalized environment (and the EU Single Market), any exceptions (both existing and proposed) in the EU Copyright Directive should be mandatory, prevented from override by contract, and facilitate cross border access to and use of works in the public interest;

Protections and enforcement mechanisms for right holders must be carefully defined so as not to place onerous responsibilities on public institutions providing access to information.

Read the full submission: [MS Word] | [PDF]

1European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2013 on promoting the European cultural and creative sectors as sources of economic growth and jobs (2012/2302(INI))