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Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič. By: Slovenian Press Agency. CC BY 4.0

30 ministers of education and 690 members of the open education community (140 of them virtual) from 111 nations convened in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the 2nd OER World Congress with the goal of mainstreaming open education to meet the education targets in the United Nations SDG4. In addition to the 3-day Congress program, there were 21 satellite sessions with presentations about artificial intelligence to copyright reform to regional OER networks. Creative Commons was excited to participate in sessions, give a keynote (text / video), help draft key documents, and meet with ministers and other open education leaders from around the world.

This Congress comes after six regional consultations attended by 257 participants from 105 countries, and five years after the 1st World OER Congress where UNESCO member states unanimously approved the 2012 Paris OER Declaration.

The theme of the Congress: “OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action” – called for governments to take action. After extensive consultation with the global open education community, the 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan (English / French) was unanimously adopted. The attending Ministers further supported this call to action with a Minsters Statement (English / French).

The 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan focuses on five areas for government action:

1. Building the capacity of users to find, re-use, create and share OER
2. Language and cultural issues
3. Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality OER
4. Developing sustainability models
5. Developing supportive policy environments

Congratulations to everyone who helped move the world to this moment! Now the hard work begins. Open education advocates, NGOs and IGOs need to help national governments and their ministries / departments of education to accomplish the “suggested actions” in each of these five areas.

Now is the time for governments to review their national and SDG4 education goals, and ask if their existing financial and procurement structures are optimized to mainstream open education. Now is the time for national governments to act:

The Creative Commons global network looks forward to working with our NGO and IGO partners to help governments realize the actions called for in the 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan.

Let’s get to work.

Additional Resources:

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Hoje, a Creative Commons publicou uma análise do projeto de capítulo de propriedade intelectual do acordo de livre comércio entre a União Europeia e o Mercosul, que abarca diversos aspectos vinculados a direitos de autor e direitos conexos. Nós examinamos questões que seriam prejudiciais ao domínio público, à criatividade e ao compartilhamento, e envolvendo os direitos dos usuários na era digital.

A União Europeia (UE) e o sub-bloco regional da América Latina, formado por Argentina, Brasil, Paraguai e Uruguai (o Mercosul) vêm negociando um tratado de livre comércio (TLC) desde o ano 2000. O TLC UE-Mercosul é amplo, abarcando o comércio de bens industriais e agrícolas, potenciais mudanças nas regras aplicáveis a pequenas e médias empresas e às compras públicas, e provisões sobre propriedade intelectual como patentes e direitos de autor e direitos conexos.  As negociações para um TLC UE-Mercosul continuam em um momento em que vários dos países afetados — incluindo Argentina, Uruguai, Paraguai e até a União Europeia — encontram-se em um processo de revisão de suas próprias leis de direitos autorais.

Apenas alguns capítulos do projeto do TLC UE-Mercosul foram disponibilizados ao público. Em novembro de 2016, a União Europeia publicou uma proposta de capítulo sobre propriedade intelectual, que é a versão mais recente disponível publicamente. Organizações da sociedade civil e o público são geralmente excluídas de participar em — ou de até observar — as reuniões de negociação.

As negociações do TLC UE-Mercosul acontecem em um contexto de ampliação da construção de políticas de direitos autorais por meio de acordos de comércio multilaterais. Existem diversas negociações em curso, incluindo o Tratado Trans-Pacífico (TPP), a Associação Econômica Regional Ampla (RCEP, na sua sigla em inglês), e a renegociação do Tratado de Livre Comércio da América do Norte (TLCAN).

Cada um desses acordos inclui provisões que regulam a propriedade intelectual, e as recentes rodadas de negociação desses pactos comerciais mostram que, quando se põem  os direitos autorais em jogo, há uma pressão significativa para a incrementar drasticamente as possibilidades que têm os detentores de direitos de solicitar medidas de observância (enforcement) de seus direitos, junto com pressões para aumentar os prazos de duração dos direitos autorais, e exigir sanções mais severas por infrações. Ao mesmo tempo que as demandas dos titulares de direitos são completamente atendidas, pouquíssima consideração é dada aos direitos do público. As limitações e exceções para os direitos autorais são minimizadas, ou sequer estão presentes. No texto em questão, é perceptível a mão invisível (e poderosa) da União Europeia, que deseja exportar as cláusulas mais benéficas para os detentores de direitos (como maiores prazos de proteção harmonizados), mas só quer permitir o mínimo absoluto quando se tratam de limitações e exceções (admitindo apenas a cópia temporária).

  • A extensão dos prazos de proteção dos direitos autorais é desnecessária e injustificada: O texto provisório do capítulo sobre propriedade intelectual propõe estender a duração da proteção do direito de autor para aqueles países que ainda não aderiram ao prazo de 70 anos após a morte (o chamado vida + 70). Aumentar a duração da proteção do direito de autor posterga o ingresso das obras no domínio público, no qual elas podem ser utilizadas por qualquer um para qualquer propósito. Também exacerba problemas relacionados ao longo prazo de proteção, como o problema das obras órfãs.
  • Os direitos dos usuários devem ser protegidos mediante a expansão das limitações e exceções: a proteção do direito de autor e as medidas de penalização sempre devem ser reguladas reconhecendo e defendendo os direitos dos usuários no ecossistema do direito de autor e direitos conexos. Mas o capítulo de propriedade intelectual não inclui salvaguardas similares às incluídas nos mais recentes acordos comerciais e nos acordos internacionais de direito de autor que promovem e protegem o equilíbrio.
  • A remuneração obrigatória frustra as intenções de alguns licenciantes em Creative Commons: o capítulo de propriedade intelectual inclui uma cláusula que exigiria a remuneração obrigatória para os intérpretes e produtores de obras musicais. Essa provisão pode ser bem intencionada, mas interferiria com a operação de algumas licenças de Creative Commons ao requerer um pagamento mesmo quando a intenção do autor é compartilhar sua obra com o mundo de maneira gratuita.
  • Medidas de proteção tecnológica não devem limitar o exercício dos direitos dos usuários: o capítulo de propriedade intelectual inclui proibições à circunvenção de medidas tecnológicas de proteção para ter acesso a uma obra, assim como uma provisão que proibiria a criação e o compartilhamento de tecnologias que poderiam permitir a um usuário circunvencionar medidas tecnológicas de proteção. O problema é que essa provisão não leva em conta situações nas quais os usuários deveriam poder utilizar uma limitação ou exceção, mas não o podem fazer devido às proibições existentes para circunvencionar uma medida tecnológica.
  • Ordens judiciais preventivas contra infrações “iminentes” prejudicam a liberdade de expressão e a certeza jurídicas: o capítulo de propriedade intelectual introduz a ideia de que, por ordem judicial, tanto infratores quanto intermediários (o que inclui os provedores de serviços) poderiam ser obrigados a tomar providências para “prevenir qualquer infração iminente de um direito de propriedade intelectual”.
  • Negociações de acordos comerciais devem ser transparentes e envolver o público: Negociações de acordos comerciais devem ser transparentes e participativas. E não o são. A confidencialidade demonstrada na negociação do TPP e de outros tratados de livre comércio têm deixado organizações como a Creative Commons e o público em geral em extrema desvantagem, na medida em que apenas poucos atores privilegiados convidados ao círculo fechado de negociação tiveram seus interesses plenamente considerados.

Para ler nosso documento de análise completo, clique aqui.

The post Tratado de livre comércio União Europeia-Mercosul prejudicaria os direitos dos usuários e o conjunto de bens comuns (commons) appeared first on Creative Commons.

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Hoy Creative Commons publicó un análisis del borrador del capítulo de propiedad intelectual del acuerdo de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y el Mercosur, que abarca varios aspectos vinculados al derecho de autor. Examinamos cuestiones que irían en detrimento del dominio público y serían perjudiciales para la creatividad, el intercambio y para los derechos de los usuarios en la era digital.

La Unión Europea (UE) y el sub bloque regional de América Latina conformado por Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay (el Mercosur) han estado negociando un tratado de libre comercio (TLC) desde el año 2000. El TLC UE-Mercosur es expansivo y abarca el comercio en bienes industriales y agrícolas, cambios potenciales en las reglas aplicables a pequeñas y medianas empresas así como a las compras públicas y a las provisiones sobre propiedad intelectual tales como las patentes y el derecho de autor. Las negociaciones para un TLC UE-Mercosur continúan en un momento en que varios de los países afectados -incluidos Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay e incluso la Unión Europea- se encuentran en un proceso de revisión de sus propias leyes de derecho de autor.

Solo algunos capítulos de los borradores del TLC UE-Mercosur están disponibles para la revisión pública. En noviembre de 2016 la Unión Europea liberó un borrador del capítulo sobre propiedad intelectual, que es la versión más reciente disponible públicamente. Las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y el público son típicamente excluidas de participar en —o incluso observar — las reuniones de negociación.

Las negociaciones del TLC UE-Mercosur tienen lugar en un entorno donde un nivel creciente de políticas de derecho de autor están siendo creadas a través de acuerdos de comercio multilaterales. Hay varias negociaciones en marcha, incluyendo el Tratado Trans-Pacífico (TPP), y la renegociación del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN).

Cada uno de estos acuerdos incluyen cláusulas que regulan la propiedad intelectual, y las recientes rondas de negociaciones de estos pactos comerciales muestran que cuando se pone el derecho de autor sobre la mesa, hay una presión significativa para incrementar drásticamente las posibilidades que tienen los titulares de derechos de solicitar medidas de persecución y ejecución forzada de sus derechos, junto con presiones para aumentar los plazos de duración del derecho de autor y exigir sanciones más severas por infracción. Mientras que las demandas de los titulares de derechos son completamente atendidas, hay muy poca consideración para los derechos del público. Se minimizan las limitaciones y excepciones al derecho de autor o directamente no se contemplan. En el texto vemos la mano invisible (y poderosa) de la Unión Europea, que desea exportar las cláusulas más beneficiosas para los titulares de derechos (tales como plazos de protección más largos y armonizados), pero solo quiere permitir lo mínimo posible cuando se trata de limitaciones y excepciones (admitiendo únicamente la copia temporal).

  • La extensión de los plazos de protección del derecho de autor es innecesaria e injustificada: el capítulo borrador sobre propiedad intelectual propone extender la duración del plazo de protección para aquellos países que todavía no adhieren al plazo de +70 post-mortem. Incrementar la duración de la protección del derecho de autor demora el ingreso de las obras al dominio público, donde pueden ser utilizadas por cualquiera para cualquier propósito. También exacerba problemas relacionados al largo plazo de protección, como el problema de las obras huérfanas.
  • Los derechos de los usuarios deben ser protegidos mediante la expansión de las limitaciones y las excepciones: la protección del derecho de autor y las medidas de penalización siempre deben regularse reconociendo y defendiendo los derechos de los usuarios en el ecosistema del derecho de autor. Pero el capítulo de propiedad intelectual no incluye salvaguardas similares a las incluidas en los últimos acuerdos comerciales y en los acuerdos internacionales de derecho de autor que promueven y protegen el balance en el derecho de autor.
  • La remuneración obligatoria frustra las intenciones de algunos usuarios de Creative Commons: el capítulo de propiedad intelectual incluye una cláusula que requeriría la remuneración obligatoria para los intérpretes y productores de obras musicales. Esa cláusula puede ser bien intencionada, pero interferiría con la operación de algunas licencias de Creative Commons al requerir un pago incluso cuando la intención del autor es compartir su obra con el mundo de manera gratuita.
  • Las medidas tecnológicas de protección no deben limitar el ejercicio de los derechos de los usuarios: el capítulo de propiedad intelectual incluye prohibiciones para aquellos que eludan medidas tecnológicas de protección para obtener acceso a una obra, así como una cláusula que prohibiría la creación y el intercambio de tecnologías que podrían permitir a un usuario eludir medidas tecnológicas de protección. El problema es que esta cláusula no tiene en cuenta situaciones donde los usuarios deberían poder utilizar una limitación o excepción, pero no pueden debido a las prohibiciones existentes para evadir una medida tecnológica.
  • Las órdenes judiciales preventivas contra infracciones “inminentes” dañan la libertad de expresión y la certeza jurídica: el capítulo de propiedad intelectual introduce la idea de que una orden judicial podría ser impuesta tanto a los infractores potenciales como a los intermediarios (incluyendo a los proveedores de servicios de Internet) por infracción “inminente” a los derechos de autor que aún no han ocurrido.
  • Las negociaciones de los acuerdos comerciales deben ser transparentes e involucrar al público: las negociaciones de acuerdos comerciales necesitan ser transparentes y participativas. No lo son. El secretismo demostrado en la negociación del TPP y otros TLC dejaron a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil como Creative Commons y al público en general en una desventaja extrema, ya que solo unos pocos sectores privilegiados invitados al círculo cerrado de las negociaciones tuvieron sus intereses plenamente considerados.

Pueden leer nuestro documento de análisis completo aquí.

The post El tratado de libre comercio Unión Europea-Mercosur dañará los comunes y los derechos de los usuarios appeared first on Creative Commons.

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Today Creative Commons published a policy analysis covering several copyright-related issues presented in the draft intellectual property chapter of EU-Mercosur free trade agreement. We examine issues that would be detrimental to the public domain, creativity and sharing, and user rights in the digital age. [The policy paper is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.] 

The European Union (EU) and the Latin American sub-regional bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay (Mercosur) have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) since 2000. The EU-Mercosur FTA is expansive, addressing trade in industrial and agricultural goods, potential changes to rules governing small- and medium-sized businesses as well as government procurement, and intellectual property provisions such as copyrights and patents. The EU-Mercosur FTA negotiations continue during a time when several of the affected countries—including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and even the EU—are involved in a review of their own copyright rules.

Only a few chapters of the draft EU-Mercosur FTA have been made available for public inspection. In November 2016 the EU released a draft of the chapter dealing with intellectual property, which is the most recent publicly available version. Civil society organisations and the public are typically excluded from participating in—or even observing—the negotiation meetings.

The EU-Mercosur FTA negotiations take place in an environment where an increasing level of copyright policy is being constructed through multilateral trade agreements. There are several current negotiations underway, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Each of these agreements include provisions regulating intellectual property, and the recent negotiation of these trade pacts shows that when copyright is put on the table, there’s a significant push to drastically increase enforcement measures for rights holders, lengthen copyright terms, and demand harsh infringement penalties. While the demands of rights holders are fully addressed, there’s little consideration given to the rights of the public. Limitations and exceptions to copyright are downplayed, or not present at all. In the text we see the invisible (and powerful) hand of the EU, which wishes to export the intellectual property provisions most beneficial to rightsholders (such as harmonized longer terms), but only wants to permit the absolute minimum when it comes to limitations and exceptions (such as only temporary copying).

  • Copyright term extension is unnecessary and unwarranted: The draft IP chapter proposes to extend the duration of copyright protection for those countries that do not already adhere to the life + 70 year term. Increasing the duration of copyright protection delays works from entering the public domain, where they may be used by anyone for any purpose. It also exacerbates related challenges, such as the orphan works problem. 
  • User rights must be protected by expanding limitations and exceptions: Copyright protection and enforcement measures should always be tempered by recognizing and upholding the rights of users in the copyright ecosystem. But the IPR chapter doesn’t include similar safeguards introduced in the latest trade agreements and international copyright agreements that promote and protect balance in copyright agreements.
  • Mandatory remuneration frustrates the intentions of some Creative Commons licensors: The IPR chapter includes a provision that would require remuneration for performers and producers of musical works. The provision may be well-intended, but would interfere with the operation of some Creative Commons licenses by requiring a payment even when the intention of the author is to share her creative work with the world for free.
  • Technical protection measures must not limit the exercise of user rights: The IPR chapter includes prohibitions to circumventing technological protection measures to gain access to a work, as well as  a provision that would prohibit the creation and sharing of technologies that could enable a user to circumvent technological protection measures. The problem is that it doesn’t take into account situations where users should be able to leverage a limitation or exception, but cannot due to prohibitions on circumventing a technological measure.
  • Precautionary injunctions against “imminent” infringements harms freedom of expression and the rule of law: The IPR chapter introduces the idea that an injunction could be levied against both potential infringers and intermediaries (including ISPs) for “imminent” copyright infringements that have not yet occurred.
  • Trade agreement negotiations must be transparent and involve the public: Trade agreement negotiations need to be transparent and participatory. They are not. The secrecy demonstrated in the negotiation of the TPP and other FTAs left civil society organizations like Creative Commons and the broader public at an extreme disadvantage, as only a privileged few stakeholders invited into the closed negotiation circle had their interests fully considered.

Read our extended policy paper here. The text is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

The post EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement Would Harm User Rights and the Commons appeared first on Creative Commons.

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The Free Software Foundation Europe and a broad group of organisations including Creative Commons are supporting the Public Money, Public Code campaign. The initiative calls for the adoption of policies that require that software paid for by the public be made broadly available as Free and Open Source Software. Nearly 40 organisations and over 6200 individuals have already supported this action by signing the open letter. You can sign it too.

We know that publicly funded educational materials and scientific research should be made available under open licenses for maximum access and reuse by everyone.

The same goes for the digital infrastructure of publicly-funded software. Unfortunately, governments around the world tend to procure mostly proprietary software, and the restrictive licenses that come with it limits our rights as citizens to use (and improve) these tools funded through the public purse and developed for the public good.

Make your voice heard today. The campaign organiser will deliver the signatures to European representatives who are debating software freedom in public administration.


Public Money? Public Code! from Free Software Foundation Europe on Vimeo.

The post Sign the Petition: Public Money Should Produce Public Code appeared first on Creative Commons.

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I tend to scribble a lot by Nic McPhee, CC BY-SA 2.0

In June we asked the European Parliament to redouble their efforts to make much-needed improvements to the EU copyright reform. We called on the Parliament to spearhead crucial changes that promote creativity and business opportunities, enable research and education, and protect user rights in the digital market.

Despite this strong ask, the direction of the copyright reform is getting worse, not better.

This week Creative Commons and major organisations from the library, research, education, and digital rights community sent a letter to the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee calling on it to protect open access and open science in the context of the Commission’s draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Additional signatories are encouraged to join the letter

Of particular concern are two parts of the draft directive: Article 11 (press publisher’s right) and Article 13 (platform content filtering). We believe that these provisions will create burdensome and harmful restrictions on access to scientific research and data, as well as on the fundamental rights of freedom of information, directly contradicting the EU’s own ambitions in the field of Open Access and Open Science.

The press publisher’s right already poses a significant threat to an informed and literate society. Links to news and the use of titles, headlines and fragments of information could now become subject to licensing. The extension of this controversial proposal to cover academic publications, as proposed by the Parliament’s Research Committee, significantly worsens an already bad situation. This type of arrangement is unequivocally harmful to access to scientific and scholarly information—most of which has already been paid for from by the public funds, and whose raison d’être is to be read as widely as possible in order to contribute to the scientific enterprise. It flies in the face of open access publishing, whose authors have chosen to share their research outputs under permissive licenses for the benefit of all. And it directly conflicts with other provisions in the EU’s copyright reform meant to improve research processes and outcomes, such as the mandatory copyright exception for text and data mining.

Article 13 threatens the accessibility of scientific articles, publications and research data made available through over 1250 repositories that European non-profit institutions and academic communities. These repositories, which are essential for Open Access and Science in Europe, are likely to face significant additional operational costs associated with implementing new filtering technology and the legal costs of managing the risks of intermediary liability.

Both Articles 11 and 13 should be removed from the proposal.

Our letter also touches on other important issues such as the exception for text and data mining (Article 3) and the exception for educational purposes (Article 4). We ask the Legal Affairs Committee to improvement these and other Articles so they to provide better support for teaching, learning, and new forms of research.

You can read the full letter below.

Are you interested in receiving updates about our work copyright reform efforts from Creative Commons and our partners in policy? Sign up to our list. We’ll email you no more than once per month!


EU copyright reform threatens Open Access and Open Science

Open letter to the members of the Legal Affairs Committee in the European Parliament

We represent a large group of European academic, library, education, research and digital rights communities and we are writing to express our alarm at the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and in particular at the potential impact of Articles 11 and 13. We are concerned that these provisions will create burdensome and harmful restrictions on access to scientific research and data, as well as on the fundamental rights of freedom of information, directly contradicting the EU’s own ambitions in the field of Open Access and Open Science.

We therefore urge the Legal Affairs Committee to remove Articles 11 and 13 from the draft Directive. Furthermore, the Committee should ensure that Articles 3 to 9 support new forms of research and education and not work against them.

A U-turn on Open Science?

  1. We believe that increased digital access, data analytics and open information flows will increase innovation in Europe. The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme similarly supports open access to scientific publications and research data as essential drivers of EU global competitiveness. The EU has set an example internationally with its extensive policy work, for example by including Open Access in one of its six European Research Area (ERA) priorities. Moreover in 2016 at the Competitiveness Council, all of Europe’s ministers of science, innovation, trade and industry committed to Open Access to scientific publications as the default option for publicly funded research results by 2020. Open Science is increasingly accepted by governments and industry as a means not only to accelerate innovation, but also to ensure faster access to information for citizens.
  1. However, several proposed elements of Articles 11 and 13 will prevent the EU from realizing the significant potential of Open Access and Open Science to promote scientific discovery and progress, and may thereby reduce the impact of European research worldwide.

The Ancillary Right – Putting the brakes on knowledge-sharing and building walls around already open publications and data

  1. Article 11 already poses a significant threat to an informed and literate society. Links to news and the use of titles, headlines and fragments of information could now become subject to licensing. Terms could make the last two decades of news less accessible to researchers and the public, leading to a distortion of the public’s knowledge and memory of past events. Art. 11 would furthermore place EU law in contravention with the Berne Convention, whose Art. 2(8) excludes news of the day and ‘mere items of press information’ and ‘press summaries’ from protection.
  1. The extension of this controversial proposal to academic publications, as proposed by the ITRE Committee, significantly worsens an already bad situation. It would provide academic publishers additional legal tools to restrict access, going against the increasingly widely accepted practice of sharing research. This will limit the sharing of open access publications and data which currently are freely available for use and reuse in further scientific advances. If the proposed ancillary right is extended to academic publications, researchers, students and other users of scientific and scholarly journal articles could be forced to ask permission or pay fees to the publisher for including short quotations from a research paper in other scientific publications. This will seriously hamper the spread of knowledge. The proposed ancillary right further conflicts with the Berne Convention’s Article 10(1), which provides a mandatory exception for quotation, as well as posing risks to freedom of speech.
  1. Prior experiments with the press publishers’ right have also failed from an economic standpoint. No impact assessment has been carried out, no evidence produced, and no consultation conducted around the ramifications of extending Art. 11 to academic publishers.
  1. In addition, academic publishers usually acquire rights to the works they publish when signing contracts with their authors. Publishers already have all the rights they need, thus ancillary rights don’t make sense.

Filtering obligations – Undermining the foundations of Open Access

  1. The provisions of Article 13 threaten the accessibility of scientific articles, publications and research data made available through over 1250 repositories that European non-profit institutions and academic communities. These repositories, which are essential for Open Access and Science in Europe, are likely to face significant additional operational costs associated with implementing new filtering technology and the legal costs of managing the risks of intermediary liability. The additional administrative burdens of policing this content would add to these costs. Such repositories, run on a not-for-profit basis, are not equipped to take on such responsibilities, and may face closure. This would be a significant blow, creating new risks for implementing funder, research council and other EU Open Access policies.

Text and Data Mining – The risks to scientific values

  1. Regarding Article 3, we welcome amendments that expand the exception for text and data mining (TDM) to allow anyone, including SMEs and society in general, to mine works to which they have legal access, regardless of the purpose. Furthermore, Article 3 should direct Member States to set up a secure facility to ensure accessibility and verifiability of research made possible through TDM. Under no circumstances should data structured for mining purposes be deleted – this is fundamentally contrary to good scientific practice. Finally, the exception should be protected from being overridden by contract terms, and technological measures should be prohibited that interfere with the exercise of the exception. Both protections are essential for the exception to function.

Education, preservation and access – An enabling environment for Open Science

  1. Regarding Article 4, we believe that a robust exception to copyright for education should support broad access to and fair reuse of copyrighted content of all types in a variety of education settings, locally and across borders. The scope of the exception should cover digital and non-digital uses, including ‘scientific research’ purposes, alongside educational ones, and prevent rightholders from overriding the exception through contractual provisions or technological protection measures. Finally, the exception should not depend on compulsory remuneration.
  1. We also urge MEPs to take full account of the views of library and cultural heritage institutions regarding Articles 5-9 of the draft Directive, which aim at ensuring maximising the effective preservation of, and access to works for public interest, non-commercial purposes.

We therefore urge the Legal Affairs Committee to remove Articles 11 and 13 from the draft Directive. Furthermore, we ask for the improvement of Articles 3-9 in line with the suggestions put forward by library, educational, research and cultural heritage organisations throughout the parliamentary process to provide better support for teaching, learning, and new forms of research.

The signatories support a balanced copyright law that promotes open access to research articles, publications and data, thereby continuing to contribute to further strengthening Europe’s research outreach and innovative capacity for the benefit of Europe’s research industry, including SMEs and society.

Original signatories

CESAER – Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research
COAR – Confederation of Open Access Repositories
Commons Network
Communia Association
Creative Commons
C4C – Copyright for Creativity (C4C) Coalition
EBLIDA – European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations
EIFL – Electronic Information for Libraries
EUA – European University Association
Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU
IFLA – International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
LIBER – Association of European Research Libraries
RLUK – Research Libraries UK
Science Europe
SPARC Europe

The post European Parliament Must Protect Scientific Research appeared first on Creative Commons.

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Circuit board by Carl Drougge, CC BY-SA 2.0

In 1996 the European Union adopted the Database Directive, which aimed to harmonise the treatment of databases under copyright law and introduced the sui generis database right for non-original databases. Sui generis database rights are separate from copyright. They protect the “sweat of the brow” of the person who has made a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying, or presenting the contents of a database.

In 2005 the European Commission released its first (and only) evaluation report on the impact of the Database Directive. It found that there was no evidence that the sui generis right has improved EU competitiveness by increasing the production of databases. In contrast, the presence of the sui generis right has produced a confusing legal environment in which users do not know if (or how) their uses are subject to the sui generis right.

Now the Commission is asking for feedback on what to do with the Database Directive, in particular the sui generis protection. Creative Commons responded to the Commission’s survey, and you can read our answers here.

The Database Directive has failed to give database producers that wish to make their databases available on an open access basis the choice to opt out of the sui generis protection or a way to communicate conditions for reuse. This has led to some recent projects (such as Wikidata and Europeana) to simply sidestep the right altogether by releasing their data into the public domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, thus neutralising copyright and sui generis rights to ensure that their data is freely (re)usable. It should be noted that the most recent iteration of the Creative Commons suite (version 4.0 released in 2013) licenses sui generis database rights alongside copyright, but the extent of the use of the 4.0 licenses as a tool primarily to address the sui generis right is unclear.

We’ve also worked with our partners at COMMUNIA to prepare a short policy paper, which echoes the recommendations we provided to the consultation.

The Commission should repeal the sui generis database right and harmonize the limitations and exceptions for the copyright section of the Database Directive with the Infosoc Directive. If it is not possible to fully revoke the sui generis right, the Commission should amend the Database Directive to introduce a system whereby producers of databases must register to receive protection under the sui generis right. It should also expand the sui generis exceptions and make them mandatory. Finally, it should set a maximum term so that there cannot be perpetual extensions.

The sui generis protection in the Database Directive has caused more harm than good. It’s time for it to go.

The post The European Commission should repeal extra rights for databases appeared first on Creative Commons.

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Today Creative Commons and over two dozen civil society and digital rights organisations released a letter raising concerns about the potential impact of the re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on access to information, digital rights, and the open internet. The letter was released this week because trade negotiators from Canada, Mexico, and the United States are meeting this week in Washington, D.C. for the opening round of the renewed negotiation process. In June we asked whether re-negotiating the agreement is opening Pandora’s Box.

In the letter, we demand that negotiators immediately reform the trade negotiation process to make the proceedings more transparent, inclusive and accountable. We believe it is unacceptable that binding rules on intellectual property, access to medicines, and a variety of other trade-related sectors will be reworked within a process that is inaccessible and often hostile to input from members of the public.

We warn against making changes to the existing rules around intellectual property, noting that in most recent multilateral trade negotiations there has been a significant push to drastically increase copyright enforcement measures, lengthen copyright terms, and demand harsh infringement penalties without corresponding provisions to protect the interests of users of copyright works. But if intellectual property is to be addressed within NAFTA, it is critical that user rights are balanced alongside the extensive protections already granted to rights holders. There must be active and enforceable mechanisms to protect copyright exceptions and limitations, including fair use and fair dealing regimes. It’s critical that the negotiating parties resist extending copyright terms (which do nothing to promote the creation of new works).

As the NAFTA talks unfold, we stand by our belief that these negotiations must be reformed to fully support a process that is transparent, inclusive and accountable. If negotiators wish to address copyright concerns, they should do so not by increasing protectionist measures that will benefit only small number of powerful rights holders. Instead, they should advocate for balanced, progressive provisions that empower new creators and users and protect the public good.

Transparency, Digital Rights, and NAFTA (English)
Transparencia​ ​y​ ​los​ ​derechos​ ​digitales​ ​en​ ​el​ ​TLCAN (Español)


Transparency, Digital Rights, and NAFTA

We, the undersigned, are Internet freedom and public interest advocates drawn from all three nations party to this agreement, who are dedicated to the rights of all peoples to access cultural and educational resources, to enjoy a free and open Internet, and to benefit from open and needs-driven innovation.

As the United States, Mexico and Canada begin talks on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this week, we write to share our concerns about NAFTA’s potential impact on the critical functions of the Internet and its potential to threaten access to information, the dissemination of news, cultural exchange and democratic organizing.

First and foremost, we call upon the United States, Mexico and Canada to meaningfully reform trade negotiation processes to make them more transparent, inclusive and accountable. It is unacceptable that binding rules are created in a forum that is inaccessible and often hostile to input from members of the public. Specifically, we would like to see: public release of text proposals by governments before negotiations, with clear processes established for members of the public to comment on them; consolidated versions of negotiating texts published between negotiating rounds; locations and times of key meetings announced well ahead of time; and the establishment of consultative trade groups that are broadly representative of both business and public interest stakeholders with a commitment to conducting deliberations openly.

Without these reforms, public trust in trade processes will continue to wane, and governments will face significant popular resistance to agreements based on process alone.

We also share concerns about the suitability of trade mechanisms to create prescriptive policies that govern Internet use, cultural sharing and innovation. In general, developments in technology happen quickly, and trade processes that do not keep pace with technological and social advancement may inhibit each of our respective governments from making necessary and appropriate changes to related rules, especially with regard to intellectual property regulations that impact our rights to culture and free expression.

With specific regard to including intellectual property rules in trade agreements, when these policies have been included in past agreements, we have seen that there is a significant push to drastically increase enforcement measures for rightsholders, lengthen copyright terms, and demand harsh infringement penalties, without corresponding provisions to protect the interests of users of copyright works.

We do not believe these types of rules belong in trade agreements, and given the ambitious timeline for a completed NAFTA renegotiation, the inclusion of prescriptive IP provisions will prove to be a stumbling block for governments seeking to create public consensus around a mutually beneficial agreement.

However, if intellectual property is addressed within NAFTA, it is critical that user rights are balanced alongside the demands of rightsholders: there must be active and enforceable mechanisms to protect exceptions and limitations regimes, fair use/fair dealing and the public domain. Parties should resist extensions in copyright terms that punish new artists and creators, and there should be no increased criminalization for digital rights management circumvention.

Further, any rules aimed at promoting the free flow of data across the Internet and reducing barriers to trade in digital products and services must preserve countries’ flexibility to robustly protect individual privacy and security, including the ability to place limits on cross-border data transfers or on the protection of trade secrets.

A renegotiated NAFTA should not be developed in secret, and must not lead to a rewriting of intellectual property rules that further tilts the balance away from the public interest or undermines the free, open and interoperable Internet.

Signatories

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Creative Commons
OpenMedia
R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Derechos Digitales
Just Foreign Policy
Public Knowledge
Media Alliance
Engine
Data Roads Foundation
Public Citizen (Access to Medicines, Innovation and Information)
Red Mexicana de acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC)
Common Frontiers
SPARC
Voices-Voix
May First/People Link
Internet Archive
SonTusDatos (Artículo 12)
STRM
Horizontal
Authors Alliance
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)
National Family Farm Coalition
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Mexico
Access Now (International)
Rabble.ca

The post Digital Rights Organisations Tell NAFTA Negotiators: Move Talks Out of the Shadows appeared first on Creative Commons.

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