Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Thursday, December 18, 2008

eIFL comment on the EU green paper

eIFL.net has released its comment on the EU green paper, Copyright in the Knowledge Economy.  Excerpt:

...(19) 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?

Article 5(3)n of [Directive 2001/29/EC, known as the Information Society Directive] permits copying for illustration for teaching or scientific research, so a licence for this purpose is not necessary.

Universities and other institutions expend huge resources in terms of time and cost entering into licensing schemes with commercial publishers to access electronic works. Dissatisfaction with pricing models, standard publisher licences and the unequal position of the parties in licence negotiations has led towards other ways of disseminating research, science and educational materials to the public. The scientific and research community should continue to develop the two complementary strategies suggested by the Budapest Open Access Initiative : self-archiving (depositing refereed journal articles in open electronic archives) and open access (OA) journals. Open access journals use copyright and other mechanisms to ensure permanent open access to published articles. Because price is a barrier to access, OA journals donít charge subscription or access fees. Open Access  has already permanently changed the field of scholarly communication. It is under discussion by governments, some publishers, including subscription-based, are experimenting and adopting the OA model and it is mandated by funding bodies and universities throughout the world. We believe that this is the best route to increase access to works.

Licences used for OA works provide examples of successful licensing schemes enabling online use of works for teaching, research purposes and much more. Open Access works are licensed to the public for a wide range of uses including to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles. One example of a licensing scheme that supports the ability to disseminate and reuse works is Creative Commons , ported in fifty countries including eighteen EU countries.

eIFL encourages the Commission to support the broad goals of open access and to encourage the adoption of open content licences to maximise the visibility and reuse of research outputs for the benefit of all. We believe that wider dissemination of knowledge contributes to more inclusive and cohesive societies, fostering equality of opportunities in line with the priorities of the forthcoming renewed Social Agenda....