Europeana Copyright Policy Advocacy

As part of our work for Europeana, Kennisland is coordinating the Copyright Policy Advocacy activities that Europeana undertakes. With the help of Kennisland, Europeana is lobbying in Brussels trying to ensure that the ongoing review of the EU copyright rules will take into account the interests of Europe's cultural heritage institutions.


2013 - 2018

As part of our work for Europeana++KL and EuropeanaMost of our other work for Europeana is related to designing, implementing and maintaining the Europeana Licensing Framework. Kennisland is coordinating the Copyright Policy Advocacy activities that Europeana undertakes on behalf of the Europeana Network. Since 2013++Public consultation on EU copyright rulesIn 2013 the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. This consultation has been the starting point for a review process that this still ongoing and unlikely to be complete before 2018. Europeana has been advocating for an update of the EU copyright rules that help cultural heritage institutions to make their collections available online. With the help of Kennisland, Europeana is lobbying in Brussels trying to ensure that the ongoing review of the EU copyright rules will take into account the interests of Europe’s cultural heritage institutions.

Copyright is one of the main issues preventing cultural heritage institutions from making their collections available online.++Copyright hinders cultural heritage institutionsFor an overview of how copyright hinders cultural heritage institutions, see this 2014 opinion article from Paul Keller. As a result museums, archives and libraries are mainly making available older works, which are already in the public domain, and for which they do not need to clear the rights. Clearing the rights for newer collections, that may still be covered by copyright, is very time-consuming and thus expensive. As a result, such works are much less likely to be digitised and made available online. This has created a situation which Europeana refers to as the 20th century black hole.

20th Century Black Hole
20th Century Black Hole

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Making culture available online has great value for Europe. Besides giving better access to objects of use for education, tourism, the creative industries and researchers it levels the playing field of access to heritage for all European citizens with an Internet connection. It is a shame that, because of copyright restrictions, European heritage institutions can only make available online relatively old materials, and that they have great difficulty giving access to Europe’s treasures from the 20th century and beyond.

In order to fix this situation, Europeana, on behalf of the more than 2500 members of the Europeana Network++Europeana NetworkThe Europeana Network Association brings together more than 2,500 cultural heritage professionals from museums, archives, libraries and other institutions contributing to Europeana. Its main purpose is to ensure that the Europeana Foundation, which is running europeana.eu, takes into account the interests of the organisation making their collections available through Europeana. Paul Keller currently serves on the Management Board of the Europeana Network Association and on the Board of the Europeana Foundation., is advocating for changes in the EU copyright rules. Kennisland is supporting EuropeanaFor Europeana we are analysing policy options, developing policy proposals and developing and implementing an advocacy strategy to fix copyright for cultural heritage institutions. in this effort by developing policy proposals, doing policy analysis and developing and implementing an advocacy strategy. These activities are part of the Europeana Awareness and Europeana DSI projects and are undertaken in close collaboration with the Europeana Foundation.

Progress so far

Copyright reform on the EU level is a slow process. The European Commission launched the review of the EU copyright rules in late 2014 and only presented a proposal for new copyright rules in September 2016 which still needs to be adopted by both the EU Parliament and the Council of the EU member states before it can become a Directive++DirectiveEuropean Directives are legal documents that need to be implemented in the law of the member states.. The Commission’s proposal will likely undergo substantial changes in the process of the deliberations in Parliament and between Commission, Parliament and Council.

In reaction to the European Commission’s public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules (2014), Kennisland has worked with Europeana to draft a common response that reflected the position of the cultural heritage institutions contributing to Europeana. Based on this common response++ResponsesSee Europeana’s response to the consultation here. KL also responded to this consultation, you can find our own response here. Kennisland and Europeana have lobbied the European Commission to propose measures that would address the 20th century black hole problem. While we have been successfulWe hope that we will be able to convince stakeholders and policymakers alike that there is an opportunity to support cultural heritage institutions in their efforts to bring their collections online. in getting the Commission to acknowledge that cultural heritage institutions need updated copyright rules, we do not think that the measures proposed by the Commission as part of its proposal for a ‘Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ directive will achieve these goals.++The measures won’t workRead why here.

Looking forward

In 2017 we will work with the European Parliament and other stakeholders from both the cultural heritage sector and from the rightsholder community to influence the Commission’s proposal on improving access to out-of-commerce works held by cultural heritage institutions.  We hope that we will be able to convince stakeholders and policymakers alike that there is an opportunity to support cultural heritage institutions in their efforts to bring their collections online without limiting the ability of authors and other rightsholders to exploit their works.

Paul Keller regularly publishes updates on Europeana’s copyright policy advocacy activities on the Europeana pro website. If you want to know more about how Kennisland is working with Europeana for better copyright rules for Europe’s cultural heritage institutions, please contact Paul (pk@kl.nl).

Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar https://www.kl.nl/projecten/europeana-copyright-policy-advocacy/

This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to https://www.kl.nl/projecten/europeana-copyright-policy-advocacy/