Explainer: What will the new EU copyright rules change for Europe’s Cultural Heritage Institutions | Europeana Pro

“On 17 May 2019 the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States have until the 7 June 2021 to implement the new rules into national law.  In this explainer, Paul Keller, Policy Advisor to Europeana Foundation breaks down the changes these new rules bring to Europe’s Cultural Heritiage insitutions. …

Article 14 of the directive clarifies a fundamental principle of EU copyright law. The article makes it clear that “when the term of protection of a work of visual art has expired, any material resulting from an act of reproduction of that work is not subject to copyright or related rights, unless the material resulting from that act of reproduction is original”. In other words, the directive establishes that museums and other cultural heritage institutions can no longer claim copyright over (digital) reproductions of public domain works in their collections. In doing so the article settles an issue that has sparked quite some controversy in the the cultural heritage sector in the past few year and aligns the EU copyright rules with the principles expressed in Europeana’s Public Domain Charter….

Finally the DSM directive introduces not one but two new Text and Data Mining exceptions (Articles 3 & 4) that will need to be implemented by all Member States. The first exception (Article 3) allows “research organisations and cultural heritage institutions” to make extractions and reproductions of copyright protected works to which they have lawful access “in order to carry out, for the purposes of scientific research, Text and Data Mining”. Under this exception cultural heritage institutions can text and data mine all works that the have in their collections (or to which they have lawful access via other means) as long as this happens for the purpose of scientific research. 

The second exception (Article 4) is not limited to Text and Data Mining for the purpose of scientific research. Instead it allows anyone (including cultural heritage institutions) to make reproductions or extractions of works to which they have lawful access for Text and Data Mining regardless of the underlying purpose. …”

What happens when books enter the public domain? Testing copyright’s underuse hypothesis across Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada by Rebecca Giblin :: SSRN

Abstract:  The United States (‘US’) extended most copyright terms by 20 years in 1998, and has since exported that extension via ‘free trade’ agreements to countries including Australia and Canada. A key justification for the longer term was the claim that exclusive rights are necessary to encourage publishers to invest in making older works available — and that, unless such rights were granted, they would go underused. This study empirically tests this ‘underuse hypothesis’ by investigating the relative availability of ebooks to public libraries across Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada. We find that books are actually less available where they are under copyright than where they are in the public domain, and that commercial publishers seem undeterred from investing in works even where others are competing to supply the same titles. We also find that exclusive rights do not appear to trigger investment in works that have low commercial demand, with books from 59% of the ‘culturally valuable’ authors we sampled unavailable in any jurisdiction, regardless of copyright status. This provides new evidence of how even the shortest copyright terms can outlast works’ commercial value, even where cultural value remains. Further, we find that works are priced much higher where they are under copyright than where they in the public domain, and these differences typically far exceed what would be paid to authors or their heirs. Thus, one effect of extending copyrights from life + 50 to life + 70 is that libraries are obliged to pay higher prices in exchange for worse access.

This is the first published study to test the underuse hypothesis outside the US, and the first to analyse comparative availability of identical works across jurisdictions where their copyright status differs. It adds to the evidence that the underuse hypothesis is not borne out by real world practice. Nonetheless, countries are still being obliged to enact extended terms as a cost of trade access. We argue that such nations should explore alternative ways of dividing up those rights to better achieve copyright’s fundamental aims of rewarding authors and promoting widespread access to knowledge and culture.

Countries with longer copyright terms have access to fewer books (pay attention, Canada!) / Boing Boing

Rebecca Giblin (previously) writes, “We’ve just dropped a new study we’ve been working on for a year. You know how it keeps being claimed that we need longer copyrights because nobody will invest in making works available if they’re in the public domain? Heald and some others have done some great work debunking that in the US context, but now we’ve finally tested this hypothesis in other countries by looking at the relative availability of ebooks to libraries. It’s also the first time anyone has been able to compare availability of identical works (by significant authors) across jurisdictions. The books we sampled were all in the public domain in Canada and NZ, all under copyright in Australia, and a mix in the US (courtesy of its historical renewal system).”

“So what’d we find? That Canada and NZ (public domain) have access to more books and at cheaper prices than Australia (copyright) and the US (mixed). Also that publishers don’t seem to have any problem competing with each other on the same popular titles. And, sadly but not surprisingly: 59% of our sampled ‘culturally significant’ authors had no books available to libraries in any country regardless of copyright status. That’s because even the shortest terms wildly outlast most books’ commercial life (even where they still have cultural value). …”

The open access wars: How to free science from academic paywalls – Vox

“This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.

The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”

Will the Davids prevail?…”

New tool and dataset make permissions checking easier, faster, and clearer for libraries.

“Together with librarians, we’re building a new way to perform permissions checking that is backed by a modern approach and informed by a decade of experience and open, community-editable, machine-readable data. Today, we’re releasing a prototype of that system, a bulk automated permissions checker (and its data), which is specialized for use during mediated deposit and en masse outreach and built to check hundreds of articles and journals in seconds. It returns comprehensive permissions information, along with complete article metadata and links to open access versions. Try the tool today at: openaccessbutton.org/permissions. …”

What the history of copyright in academic publishing tells us about Open Research | Impact of Social Sciences

“It has become a fact of academic life, that when researchers publish papers in academic journals, they sign away the copyright to their research, or licence it for distribution. However, from a historical perspective this practice is a relatively recent phenomenon. In this post Aileen Fyfe, explores how copyright has become intertwined with scholarly publishing and presents three insights from the history of the Royal Society that inform ongoing debates around openness in research and scholarly communication….”

Navigating 21st-Century Digital Scholarship: Open Educational Resources (OERs), Creative Commons, Copyright, and Library Vendor Licenses: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Digital scholarship issues are increasingly prevalent in today’s environment. We are faced with questions of how to protect our own works as well as others’ with responsible attribution and usage, sometimes involving a formal agreement. These may come in the form of Creative Commons Licensing, provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act, or terms of use outlined by contractual agreements with library vendors. Librarians at Eastern Carolina University and Kansas State University (K-State) are among several university libraries now providing services to assist with navigating these sometimes legalistic frameworks. East Carolina University Libraries are taking initiatives to familiarize faculty, researchers, and students with Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons Licensing. At K-State, librarians in digital scholarship and electronic resources identified the overlap of their subject matters through their correspondence regarding users’ copyright and licensing questions; a partnership formed, and they implemented a proactive and public-facing approach to better meet user needs and liability concerns at a major research university.

Open Science essential for new Horizon Europe funding programme – SPARC Europe

“SPARC Europe is pleased with the endorsement, on April 17, by the European Parliament (EP) of the Political Partial Agreement on Horizon Europe, the next research and innovation framework programme. Back in March 2019, the EP and Council of the European Union had reached a provisional agreement as part of the trilogue process. That agreement was approved by the Council on April 15. With that vote, European legislators demonstrated that they stand “behind the idea to keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation,” said Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, in an online statement. This agreement sends a strong signal about the importance of science and innovation for the future of Europe and shows Europe’s potential to lead in the promotion of Open Science and Open Access policies.”

Join us for a Twitter chat! | Creative Commons USA

Next month, Creative Commons USA is hosting a Twitter chat in partnership with the Open Textbook Network, Rebus Community, Collaborative Knowledge Foundation, and Library Publishing Coalition around open licensing, CC, copyright, and other intellectual property issues.

We’re inviting practitioners from across the spectrum to join our experts – including Michael Carroll, a founding member of Creative Commons, currently a Professor of Law and the Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and Meredith Jacob, Public Lead for Creative Commons USA. Ethan Senack, Outreach and Policy Manager for Creative Commons USA (@esenack) will be moderating….”

Short statement from the SG of AAU on Open Access to all HEIs on the continent | Association of African Universities


* In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.

* faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.

* Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints

* all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.

* all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book. This is compatible with charging a registration fee for the conference.

* all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. For example, see the list of what journals can do….”