A better copyright reform for education
EIFL joins advocates of quality education to call for a better copyright reform in Europe

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Libraries provide essential access to a wide range of information resources for teaching, education and research.

In 2016, libraries globally were set to spend 30 billion USD on books, journals, databases and other information resources, mostly paid from public funds. So when it comes to using the resources, libraries want fair access for their users, reasonable ability to reuse the material and value for taxpayer money. That’s why EIFL has joined a call by 34 organizations representing education, libraries and an open internet for a better copyright reform for education in Europe.

On 7 February 2017, COMMUNIA, a European network that advocates for policies that expand the digital public domain, sent a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are currently scrutinizing copyright reform proposals issued by the European Commision in September 2016.

The letter asks MEPs to consider three key recommendations to ensure that the copyright reforms really support education. The recommendations request that -

  • references to licences are deleted from the proposed new education exception;
  • beneficiaries of the exception are broadened to include all persons and entities providing an educational activity, and
  • the artificial barrier created in the proposal between digital and printed resources is lifted.

Libraries are synonymous with learning. Whether studying for a university degree, a professional qualification or supporting a new curriculum, academic libraries provide essential access to a wide range of information resources for teaching, education and research.

Public and community libraries provide extensive support for informal learning, recognized by European governments as playing an important role in enhancing employability and mobility, through programmes that develop business and job skills, encourage digital literacy, and promote a lifelong love of reading.

The plans to modernize European Union copyright rules for education are good. But to really work, they need to be better. EIFL supports copyright laws that properly facilitate day-to-day educational activities, and maximize the use of library learning resources.

Read the joint letter sent by COMMUNIA here.

Blog post by COMMUNIA: Clear statement from educational sector: we need a better copyright reform.

Read how public libraries working with EIFL in Africa, Europe, and Latin America contribute to education, economic well-being, social inclusion and literacy.