Search the site:

The community Hub of Libraries in Europe!

Striving towards an equitable, democratic and sustainable society

The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe.

Press release of the European Commission on the Signature of the MoU on Out of Commerce works

1. What are out-of-commerce works?

Out-of-commerce works are works that are still protected by copyright but are no longer commercially available because the authors and publishers have decided neither to publish new editions nor to sell copies through the customary channels of commerce. In the past works such as books were referred to as being either “in-print” or “out-of-print”. Today, with the advent of electronic channels of commerce, the term “out-of-commerce” is used (with electronic publishing a book will be "in commerce" even if only available in electronic form).

2. What is the problem with out-of-commerce books in the EU? What does this have to do with copyright?

While publishers may not have a financial interest in maintaining older and less commercially successful books in commerce, libraries – in particular when we talk about those books which they have in their archives and which are part of the cultural heritage of the country, region or city where they are situated – may want to digitise and make them available online. For many libraries this is part of their public interest mission, made possible thanks to digital technology and networks. For the European citizen, this is an unprecedented opportunity to have access to books that would have otherwise fallen into oblivion. Libraries do not own the copyright to the works contained in their collections. Therefore, they must seek the permission of the right holders – authors and publishers – before they can digitise out-of-commerce works and put them online as part of their digital library projects.

3. What is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about?

The MoU is a sector-specific stakeholder-driven agreement negotiated amongst organisations representing libraries on the one hand and publishers, authors and their collecting societies on the other. It contains the Key Principles that these parties will follow to license the digitisation and making available (including across borders in the EU) of books or learned journals that are out-of-commerce. It aims to encourage voluntary collective licences.

Read more


Share this  |
View the map and contact information >

NEWS

  • Interview with Steen Bording Andersen

    Interview with Steen Bording Andersen

    23 June 2020: Interview with Steen Bording Andersen, EBLIDA Executive Committee Member. Read more >
  • Interview with Marina Encheva

    Interview with Marina Encheva

    21 June 2020: Interview with Marina Encheva, EBLIDA Executive Committee Member. Read more >
  • EBLIDA Newsletter June 2020

    EBLIDA Newsletter June 2020

    08 June 2020: As in any post-crisis scenario, librarians must be ready to embark upon all possible plans. Find out what's next. New publications on SDGs , ESI Funds; planned #Webinars & more in the EBLIDA June Newsletter. Read more >
  • Press Release: SDGs and Libraries – First European Report

    Press Release: SDGs and Libraries – First European Report

    02 June 2020: A fully-fledged concept apt to frame library work into the broader and far-reaching scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in European libraries. Read more >
  • EBLIDA Webinars

    EBLIDA Webinars

    20 May 2020: EBLIDA is hosting a series of webinars focused on Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries, more particularly, why and how should Libraries implement SDGs. Read more >

Subscribe to our newsletter >