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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
  News archives across months
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Copyrights/Data Integrity/Ethical issues
 


LIBER welcomes final compromise text for EU's Directive on Copyright in Digital Single Market
- 15 Feb 2019

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council have agreed a final compromise text for the European Union's Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The proposed Directive, which has been nearly three years in the making, contains many positive developments for Europe's library, education and research community.

Notably, it represents a hugely significant step forward in the way that researchers, libraries, and citizens can use in-copyright works.

Despite the worthy introductions, LIBER remains apprehensive about Articles 11 and 13, and their potentially negative impact on education and research.

Article 11 (link tax) introduces a new right for publishers, under which copyright will apply to the use of anything more than very short extracts of news stories. LIBER shares the concerns of academics in terms of how this may affect the free flow of information.

Article 13 relates to online content sharing services and introduces new obligations on organisations who allow end users to upload content to their platforms. Academic repositories are, thankfully, exempt from Article 13 but the overall effect on the sharing and reuse of content - and the knock-on effect on knowledge creation, which libraries heavily support - is concerning.

Although the compromise text of the Directive is now final, it must still gain the approval of the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). That will be followed by a vote in Council and, finally, a vote in the plenary of the European Parliament - due to happen sometime between late-March and mid-April. MEPs could, in the Plenary vote, choose to cancel or introduce changes to the bill.

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IFLA joins call for deletion of articles 11 and 13 in the EU copyright reform
- 04 Feb 2019

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), along with 89 organisations, defenders of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, has co-signed a letter asking for the deletion of controversial articles in the proposed European copyright directive. IFLA had already openly underlined the threat posed by these provisions to access to information. There is right now momentum for their deletion.

Disagreement between Germany and France on Article 13 lay behind a delay in the supposedly last round of discussions on the copyright directive. The Council of Ministers - made up of Member States - could therefore not adopt its mandate to go to the last negotiations with the Parliament and the Commission.

While these two countries disagree on a specific aspect of Article 13, which would force internet platforms to filter all user-uploaded content, several others have called for its deletion. They rightly argue that there has been too much disagreement along the way, proving that there are deep and fundamental flaws in both this, and in Article 11, which provides a new right for press publishers.

IFLA has consistently advocated for solutions that would make these articles less bad for research and library services; however, technical discussions are over, and although research repositories are more or less exempted, the solution is not yet good enough.

With very positive provisions having been agreed in other parts of the Directive, it is mainly these two articles that would make the Directive a failed attempt to adapt Europe's copyright to the digital age and to a harmonised digital market.

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Appeals Court reverses district court's fair use decision in Cambridge University Press v. J.L. Albert
- 22 Oct 2018

In an opinion released October 19, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit unanimously reversed the district court's fair use decision in Cambridge University Press v. J.L. Albert and agrees with publishers reversing the GSU litigation involving the unauthorized use of numerous copyrighted works. The appeals court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings consistent with its instructions.

In reversing the district court's erroneous findings and vacating the award of attorney's fees, the appellate panel for the second time rejected what it called a 'mathematical formula' of fair use in favour of a 'qualitative consideration of each instance of copying in the light of its particular facts.'

This kind of careful scrutiny and detailed application is essential to the efficacy of copyright law, whether in the print or digital environment. As the Supreme Court noted in its landmark Campbell v. Acuff-Rose decision, the four statutory factors may not 'be treated in isolation, one from another. All are to be explored, and the results weighed together, in light of the purposes of copyright.'

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Coalition of library and research community representatives submit proposed amendments to PSI directive
- 18 Oct 2018

A coalition of library and research community representatives, comprising EBLIDA, DCC, IFLA and SPARC Europe, recently submitted their position and proposed amendments to the Directive 2003/98/EC on the reuse of public sector information. The two documents were shared with EU rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs with the request that these amendments be taken forward for consideration for the next stage of the process.

This latest move is part of a year-long advocacy effort to urge lawmakers to consider the library and research communities in the rewriting of Europe's copyright law.

Among the amendments proposed by the coalition was language: stipulating that all wholly or majority-funded research be made open as default, or as closed as necessary as required by other bodies of law; broadening the definition of where data is stored, i.e beyond institution and subject-based repositories to include other local, national or international data infrastructure; encouraging the consistent provision of data management plans; requiring that data follow the FAIR data principles; and specifying that Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) also be compatible with FAIR principles, being 'self-descriptive and using open protocols.'

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Elsevier and American Chemical Society file second lawsuit against ResearchGate for copyright infringement
- 10 Oct 2018

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have filed a second lawsuit against ResearchGate, alleging mass copyright infringement.

Last year, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, a group representing more than 140 publishers, wrote to ResearchGate, a popular social networking site for researchers, expressing concerns over the site's article-sharing practices. Dissatisfied with the response, the concerned parties created a new a group, known as the Coalition for Responsible Sharing.

The ACS and Elsevier, both of whom are members of the new group, filed a suit against ResearchGate last October in Berlin - where the site is based - which is still awaiting a decision. ResearchGate is a private company that launched in 2008 and has been funded by the likes of the Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs and Bill Gates.

The new lawsuit, filed in a Maryland court on October 2, comes amid concerns at the lack of action from ResearchGate to address the publishers' concerns.

James Milne, senior vice president at ACS and spokesperson for the coalition, estimates that ResearchGate still illicitly hosts around 4 million paywalled articles. A 2017 study found that 201 out of 500 randomly picked papers on ResearchGate breached copyright. ResearchGate declined to comment.

ResearchGate has refused to implement a user-friendly technical solution, which would inform authors whether they have the rights to upload a paper during submission.

As a result, over the last year, all 15 members of the coalition have collectively sent ResearchGate hundreds of thousands of takedown notices to remove papers on the site that infringe copyright. But that is only a short term solution, because newly published papers also continue to be added to the platform.

The new lawsuit became necessary because the verdict of the German one probably would not be admissible in the US, because the US contains the largest ResearchGate user base.

Last year, the ACS won another legal battle against Sci-Hub, a pirate site that provides researchers free access to millions of paywalled papers. The ACS filed suit last June, alleging copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and trademark infringement.

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