Call for European copyright reform to support education

Copyright and EuropeWe recently contributed to, and added our signatures to a letter to MEPs drafted by advocacy group Communia calling for reforms to European copyright law. The context of this is the proposed Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market which aims to update areas of European copyright law which the 2001 Information Society Directive either failed to address, or predict (16 years is a long time these days). There are a number of proposals intended to support teaching and learning in a 21st century context, and the letter is a good opportunity to remind MEPs that copyright law has to support the activities of teachers and students as much as it should serve commercial interests.

Whilst we feel that the primary focus of copyrightliteracy.org is on interpreting and explaining copyright law rather than advocacy, we think this is an important message to send to law makers. And even though the UK will be leaving the EU, it is still likely that we will be bound to at least some of the legal principles given that UK law has been under the European copyright acquis for more than two decades. Of course for many educational institutions, teachers and students the reality is that their activities take place across national borders, and reform of the copyright regime is really important to allow innovative ways of conducting teaching and research.

The list of signatory organisations is growing and the deadline for those who want to add their names is next Monday 6 February, 12pm Central European time. Get in touch with Lisette Kalshoven (lk@kl.nl) if you want to be added to the list.

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