EU Copyright Directive: EUA cautious about adopted agreement

28 March 2019

The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was adopted by the European Parliament on 26 March 2019. While EUA welcomes the strengthened exemptions for the education and research activities of European universities, it remains cautious about the agreement’s impact on other sectors and society at large.

The EUA position ahead of a final agreement (February 2019) urged negotiators to further strengthen exemptions for education, research and cultural heritage institutions across the entire Directive. As such, EUA welcomes that the text and data mining exemption for research purposes was made mandatory, while not-for-profit educational and scientific repositories have been excluded from the definition of “online content sharing service providers”.

However, having called for the removal of Articles 11 and 13 (renumbered to 15 and 17 in the adopted text) together with organisations representing the European academic, library, education and research communities, EUA is disappointed that concerns about the potentially far-reaching impact of these articles on other sectors and society at large are not addressed in the adopted Directive.

EUA believes the close margin of defeat to vote on individual amendments exemplifies the concerns. Furthermore, it sends a strong signal to national policymakers transposing the adopted agreement into national law.

It is therefore unsure how the adopted Directive will impact the EU’s 735 000 researchers, as well as its more than 1.4 million higher education teachers and 19.6 million students (latest estimates, Eurostat). In particular, those working with non-university partners face uncertainty.

EUA will continue to provide support to its members as the Copyright Directive is transposed into national legislation, including complications arising from the potential withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

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