EUA has updated its response to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on copyright to further underline the importance of an EU copyright reform that truly supports the needs of research, innovation and education in the digital age at universities and beyond.
The updated response consolidates EUA’s initial assessment of the proposed directive in November 2016 and the Association’s extensive work in this area in recent months, which also led to a joint statement on copyright reform in January 2017 by EUA, CESAER, LERU, LIBER and Science Europe.
In addition to the points already made by EUA in November, such as broadening the mandatory exception for text and data mining, the updated statement specifically argues for modifications in relation to document supply and the use of materials for cross-border teaching and research, ancillary copyright and the transparency obligation. It also suggests to introduce provisions on Open Access to research publications, data and teaching materials. Without these modifications, cross-border teaching and research activities and the deployment of new technologies for education, research and innovation in general will be hampered by legal uncertainty.
“Researchers and educators should keep an inalienable right to re-use their publications, data and teaching materials to bolster Open Access,” explains Jean-Pierre Finance, Chair of the EUA Science 2.0/Open Science Expert Group and former EUA Council member. “The underlying principle that publicly-funded research belongs to the public has already been acknowledged by numerous national legislators in Europe. Now it is time to follow suit on the European level.”
As research and teaching inseparably intertwine at universities, EUA also calls on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to transpose the exception for illustration for teaching and research in Art. 5.3.a of the 2001 “InfoSoc” directive into the proposed new directive and to make it fully mandatory. With a view to the growing significance of digital learning and collaboration, EUA furthermore favours a broad approach in defining the beneficiaries of this exception to cover all permanent and temporary staff as well as all types of learners.
EUA thus recognises the need for a copyright reform fit for modern, quality and inclusive education as outlined in a joint letter to members of the European Parliament. By removing remaining regulatory barriers and unnecessary restrictions in the current copyright proposal, Europe’s learning and teaching and its research and innovation communities will get the framework needed to ensure that the most advanced teaching, research and innovation practices can be applied for the benefit of society, now and in the future.