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ENCES workshop in London:
Copyright Fit for the Internet
National and International Strategies to Support Education and Research
Expert workshop at the British Library, London, 27 May 2011
“Europe has boundless cultural wealth to offer its citizens, and indeed to the world. Europe is and must remain a global cultural force [...] We must ensure that copyright serves as a building block, not a stumbling block.” (Neelie Kroes)
The aim of the ENCES workshop held in London at the British Library was to connect the national debates of IP review processes which were actually undertaken in various EU Member States. The workshop was a forum for participants from all across Europe to discuss and evaluate the outcomes of these processes from the common point of view of the European scholarly sector.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron had called for a revision of UK copyright law in order to make it fit for the internet age. The review made recommendations on the changes the UK could make as well as on the long-term goals to be pursued through the international IP framework. The report was published in April 2011.
Any change in UK copyright law has to take into account the framework described by EU directives on information law and other international treaties. It is useful, therefore, for the UK scholarly sector to discuss the national revision of UK copyright in close contact with colleagues from other EU Member States. The workshop enabled participants from the European scholarly sector to share their experiences in dealing with their legislators on national levels. The organisers of the workshop, the British Library and ENCES, the European Network for Copyright in Support of Education and Science, believe it is necessary to – in the words of EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes – “look beyond national and corporatist self-interest to establish a new approach to copyright. We want "une Europe des cultures" and for this we need a debate at European level.”
Common issues to be explored in detail during the workshop were:
- Contracts undermining limitations and exceptions to copyright;
- Mass digitisation issues: orphan works and out-of-commerce works;
- Linked open data;
- Text mining and data mining;
- Cross border licensing;
- Three strikes legislation;
- Open Access;
- Right to secondary publication / employer’s right to first publication;
- Electronic document delivery services.
More EU Member States about to revise their copyright legislation were identified and stakeholders from these countries were invited to talk on their activities with regard to achieving a scholarship-friendly copyright in their national copyright revision processes.
The discussion of different approaches towards a copyright fit for the digital era in different EU Member States contributed to a common idea of what is actually needed from the EU legislator. At the end of the workshop a panel discussion on general supranational needs with regard to changes to the EU copyright legislation took place:
Which changes to EU law will enable and enhance a copyright that would be supportive for the common European Research Area in general as well as for the UK research and education sectors in particular? Would it actually be a good solution to the differing review processes of national copyright laws to introduce a mandatory general exception for education and research into the Directive 2001/29/EC?
Participants invited to the workshop came from the UK library and research sector and from the library and research sector of other EU Member States, including legal researchers from legal research institutes specialized in EU information and copyright law and representatives of the EU Commission.
“And we will not stop exploring ideas for as long as the system is not working.” (Neelie Kroes)
 Neelie Kroes, A digital world of opportunities; SPEECH/10/619; date: 05/11/2010; URL: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/619&format=HTML&aged=0&language=en&guiLanguage=en; last visited on 13 December 2010.