Copyright Directive: EUA position ahead of a final agreement

13 February 2019

The European University Association (EUA) would like to draw attention to the impact the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market will have on European higher education and research. On behalf of universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries, the EUA Council in January 2019 adopted the EUA position ahead of a final agreement on the Copyright Directive with a view to establish an appropriate framework for education and research.

EUA welcomes the exemptions for education and research institutions in the provisional agreement of 14 December 2018. Notably, text and data mining for research purposes (Article 3) and digital and cross-border teaching activities (Article 4) will benefit from these exemptions. Similarly, we welcome the exemption of scientific journals from the scope of Article 11.

However, these exemptions should be further strengthened. This can be done by making mandatory the text and data mining exemption for individuals and institutions with legal access to works (Article 3), which will help safeguard the close relationship European universities enjoy with other sectors and the wider society across Europe. Another way to strengthen the exemptions is to explicitly exclude education and research institutions from the scope of Article 11, which would further facilitate teaching and research activities.

Moreover, EUA is concerned that no agreement has been reached to exempt educational and scientific repositories from the scope of Article 13 on the liability of online content sharing service providers. Having this liability extend to educational and scientific repositories would hinder or even prevent their work, thereby impeding the future of Open Access in Europe.

The Copyright Directive will have a direct impact on 735 000 researchers working in Europe’s higher education sector (2017 estimate, Eurostat), specifically on how their work connects and contributes to society. Moreover, the Directive will have a direct impact on 1 484 000 people active as teachers in the higher education (2016 estimate, Eurostat), as well as 19 590 000 students participating in tertiary education (2016, Eurostat).

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