Copyright in the Digital Single Market

01 February 2018

On 23 January 2018, EIF & MEPs Catherine Stihler and Brando Benifei invited members & friends to debate on Copyright in the EU Digital Single Market. The reform of EU copyright rules has been a long-running and hotly-debated topic within the European institutions.

MEP Brando Benifei believes that we need to be careful with the scope of the exemptions regarding text and data mining which risk hindering innovation by excluding start-ups, researchers or journalists. In his view, we need a broader scope that goes beyond scientific research.

For William Bowes, Director of Policy and General Counsel at The Publishers Association, copyright has encouraged learning for hundreds of years, that is its core purpose. He thinks publishers seek the true balance between use and access, but also the production and supply of quality content.

The national President of the Italian Library Association, Rosa Maiello, stressed the role of libraries in bridging culture gaps whilst protecting cultural diversity. She feels that the role of libraries should be reinforced in the digital environment to overcome the digital divide, and considers that a good copyright framework will encourage the market to provide licenses that meet users' needs.

Julien Roche, Director at Learning Center Innovation – Université Lille, a strong supporter of text and data mining (TDM), stressed the importance of consistent copyright law if we want to achieve disruptive innovation in research. TDM refers to technologies through which vast amounts of digital content are read and analysed by machines.

Annemarie Beunen, a copyright lawyer from the National Library of the Netherlands, supports a collective licensing solution as proposed by the European Commission. The Netherlands is already clearing copyrights via self-regulation in order to make works available online. In her view, finding the right holder for every work proves impossible for large collections, it would take decades to do so.

In this EIFAks MEP Brando Benifei and stakeholders from the publishing industry, the academia and the libraries put forward their views on how the EU could make a balanced copyright framework for the Digital Single Market.

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