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Friday, July 18, 2008

EC green paper on L&Es

On July 16, the European Commission has released a green paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy. (Thanks to IP Watch.) From the EC press release:
... With this Green Paper, the Commission plans to have a structured debate on the long-term future of copyright policy in the knowledge intensive areas. In particular, the Green Paper is an attempt to structure the copyright debate as it relates to scientific publishing, the digital preservation of Europe's cultural heritage, orphan works, consumer access to protected works and the special needs for the disabled to participate in the information society. The Green Paper points to future challenges in the fields of scientific and scholarly publishing, search engines and special derogations for libraries, researchers and disabled people. ...
From the green paper:
The purpose of the Green Paper is to foster a debate on how knowledge for research, science and education can best be disseminated in the online environment. The Green Paper aims to set out a number of issues connected with the role of copyright in the "knowledge economy" and intends to launch a consultation on these issues.

The Green Paper is essentially in two parts. The first part deals with general issues regarding exceptions to exclusive rights introduced in the main piece of European copyright legislation ...

The second part deals with specific issues related to the exceptions and limitations which are most relevant for the dissemination of knowledge and whether these exceptions should evolve in the era of digital dissemination.
The green paper ends with a call for comments, due November 30, 2008. There are a specific set of questions raised in the green paper, but responses may be open-ended and address other issues.

Comment. Question 19 is the one perhaps most relevant to OA:
Should the scientific and research community enter into licensing schemes with publishers in order to increase access to works for teaching or research purposes? Are there examples of successful licensing schemes enabling online use of works for teaching or research purposes?

Update. Public comments on the green paper are due by November 30, 2008. Send them to