The book digitisation “race”: An EU update

In an effort to deliver a pro-competition book digitisation solution before the arrival of the Google solutions proposed in the US Books Settlement, the Commission of European Communities recently announced follow up initiatives to the public consultation Green Paper on “Copyright in the Knowledge Economy”.  Initiatives will include: 

·                      Libraries and archives:  A simple and cost effective rights clearance system covering book digitisation and online dissemination.  Copyright would be dealt with at the EU level to reduce clearance costs.

·                      Orphan works:  Establish due diligence standards in the search for owners of orphan works with a focus on providing legal certainty in the EU

·                      Teaching and research:  Standardise the way universities acquire usage rights to scientific journals to improve teaching and research across the EU.

·                      User created content:  Investigate the needs of non-professionals who create works and identify affordable user-friendly rights clearance options.

The Commission has signalled that these initiatives are part of its commitment to deliver an IP framework that enables EU citizens to develop, share and market digitised books across the EU. 


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