The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) last week submitted a response to the Public Consultation on the Review of EU Copyright Rules.
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 is concerned that without reform of EU copyright exceptions and limitations to better support the digital activities of libraries, EU libraries and their communities will be left behind their overseas counterparts.
IFLA's submission limits itself to questions where the experiences of its international membership may prove beneficial. It focuses on: Linking and browsing; Limitations and exceptions in the Single Market; eLending; Text and data mining; and Internet intermediary responsibilities.
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 globalised 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.
IFLA will continue to monitor developments with the EU Copyright Consultation, while engaging in discussions in Geneva before the World Intellectual Property Organisation on an international legally binding instrument regarding copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives.
On March 20, IFLA will be co-hosting a breakfast debate in the EU Parliament, together with the Copyright for Creativity coalition (C4C) to discuss whether the existing international and EU copyright frameworks strike the right balance between access to information and protections for creators.