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The voice of Libraries in Europe!

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.

"Lobbying for Libraries"

Press Release Licences 4 Europe Plenary on 13 November

14 November 2013

Modernising copyright for the digital age

Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda
(Full speech available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-917_en.htm)

"...You know me by now: I am a pragmatic person. Heavy-handed legislative measures aren't always needed, and aren't always the best solution, particularly in a fast moving digital world.

Audiovisual Heritage Group proves that it is possible to agree along this way among different stakeholders. Even though those preferred legislative solutions as well, which we still don't exclude for the future.

I had things in mind like agreements, memoranda of understanding and similar, supported by a broad coalition representing different interests. This has not been met. Continue working is not enough, we need concrete tangible results.

I have followed with particular interest the User Generated Content and the Text and Data Mining Groups. And, for me, the Text and Data mining Group has also shown something very clear. We need to find better ways to cope with immense data flows. They affect so many aspects of our daily lives and professional work. As the European Council put it, big data drives innovation, improves productivity, means better quality services. And scientists in particular can use these data flows for research, even for life-saving discoveries. They need every possibility to do that.

I understand the proposed initiative here by publishers is not supported by the users. And this cannot be seen as any kind of solution without agreement from that very important group of stakeholders. Now we need to seriously consider possible legislative exceptions. (emphasis added)

Let me remind you of our objective: to look at whether it was possible to find pragmatic ways round, and explore the limits of solutions based on licensing. That is exactly what we have done.

There is still a lot to be done. Now we have a chance to make copyright not an obstruction, but an enabler. We have the proof now that it is possible, so let's challenge ourselves. Be assured we will continue our preparatory work on the legislative review. We owe it to you..."


Licences for Europe: fostering access and distribution of culture in the digital era

Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth

(Full speech available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-918_en.htm)

"...Copyright and other intellectual property rights help protect cultural diversity, in the internet era as well, by rewarding creativity and providing incentives to innovate.

Copyright must continue to enable European cultural industries and creators to provide quality content that enhances cultural diversity and media pluralism, and to develop new services, in particular on the internet. In my eyes, it is essential to preserve the virtuous cycle of creation, growth and innovation.

'Licences for Europe' has been about giving users more choice and better access to culture content in full conformity with the law. On the other hand, with technology offering more and more different ways to experience content, users also need more clarity and transparency about both their rights and obligations, and on what they can do with the content they paid for.

The outcomes that were presented this afternoon ('the pledges') provide some interesting leads to help us strike the right balance in this complex patchwork of rights, obligations and interests.

'Licences for Europe' has also launched a much-needed European-level debate on text and data mining. It is a complex and very technical area. The model licensing clause proposed by publishers, together with the web-based hub to facilitate text and data-mining for non-commercial uses free of cost, are important outcomes. They are available for libraries and researchers who wish to take advantage of this solution.

Let me reassure you that the Commission remains committed to two parallel processes: seeking pragmatic, market-led solutions, on the one hand, and continuing the legislative review process, on the other. As you know - my fellow Commissioners mentioned it already - the Commission is conducting a thorough assessment of the applicable legal framework. Based on this assessment, we will take a decision during the first part of 2014 on the best way forward.

Nobody can disagree that we need to adapt copyright to the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. I would add that, in this debate, it is necessary to ensure that the rights of creators, consumers and other stakeholders are equally respected.

This stakeholder exercise has allowed us to better understand the reality of the digital market in Europe. Its outcomes will feed into our ongoing review of the legislative framework. We are actively pursuing our analysis..."


Initiative « des licences pour l’Europe » : des engagements concrets pour améliorer l’accès des européens aux contenus sur internet

Michel Barnier, Membre de la Commission européenne, chargé du Marché intérieur et des Services

(Full speech available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-919_fr.htm?locale=en)

..."L’ambition aussi d’utiliser la propriété intellectuelle pour créer de la croissance et des emplois et pour que l’Europe reste une terre de recherche et d’innovation.

Le potentiel est immense : 39% de l’activité économique dans l’Union est générée par des entreprises qui font un usage intensif des droits de propriété intellectuelle. Et ces entreprises sont directement à l’origine de 56 millions d’emplois en Europe.

L’ambition, enfin, d’un marché unique qui fonctionne, et qui apporte des solutions pratiques aux consommateurs, aux travailleurs, aux utilisateurs d’internet, aux PMEs, c’est-à-dire à tous Européens, tous les acteurs potentiel du marché intérieur et pas seulement les "gros" ou les "grands"..."

"....Le droit d’auteur ne devrait jamais être un obstacle.

Nous l’avons fait pour l’accès aux œuvres orphelines et pour la gestion collective des droits d’auteurs. Et c'est la raison pour laquelle nous passons actuellement en revue le cadre législatif applicable au droit d’auteur dans l’UE...."

"... Enfin, le « mining-hub » proposé par les éditeurs, offre une réponse pragmatique aux chercheurs qui souhaitent pouvoir faire des fouilles automatiques sur des publications scientifiques dont l'accès n'est pas actuellement ouvert. L’enjeu est important : permettre des avancées concrètes dans ces activités – de « text and data mining » - à fort potentiel pour la recherche européenne..."

"... Encore une fois, il est bien possible que le marché seul ne puisse pas résoudre tous les problèmes. Mais n’oublions pas que la législation prend du temps, et ne se suffit souvent pas à elle-même...."

"... Les initiatives présentées aujourd’hui représentent une voie rapide – un "fast track" – pour augmenter l’accès de tous les Européens aux contenus en ligne...."

"... Les résultats de l'initiative "Des Licences pour l'Europe" viennent nourrir cette réflexion. Je pense ici à la fois aux solutions proposés, et aux discussions qui ont eues lieu, y compris dans les domaines où un consensus n'a pas toujours été possible

Nous lancerons rapidement une consultation publique. Ce sera une nouvelle occasion pour toutes les voix de se faire entendre dans ce débat et aidera à focaliser la discussion sur les sujets abordés dans le cadre de notre travail d'évaluation....."

"... C'est la raison pour laquelle je suis convaincu que la prochaine Commission européenne devra travailler sur la mise en œuvre d'une Stratégie européenne pour les industries créatives, afin de développer le partage et la rémunération de la création sur le Marché intérieur...."

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