Copyright in Europe

The Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance’s response to a consultation on the European copyright framework and areas relating to copyright that have been highlighted by the European Commission for further action.

(October 2013)


The emphasis on completing the Digital Single Market to help deliver growth in Europe has intensified the debate on copyright in recent years.  In July 2013 the Government invited views and evidence to help them to understand the impact that potential changes to the European copyright framework might have.

LACA’s response

LACA argued that currently copyright law in the EU leads to confusion across national borders. In particular, it threatens the development of the Single Market in an era when we need harmonised cross-border exceptions and limitations to copyright.

LACA made four recommendations:

  1. That all copyright exceptions within EU copyright acquis become mandatory for all EEA Member States, ensuring their implementation into every national copyright law.
  2. European copyright exceptions should also be regularly reviewed to account for changes in technology and social trends and the EU should ensure a due process to allow Member States to recommend/add new exceptions to the acquis.
  3. That the UK should actively work to ensure that the EU takes a positive position at WIPO towards the introduction of international harmonised norms for exceptions and limitations for libraries, archives, education and research.
  4. That the UK does not support the introduction of an EU Copyright Regulation.