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European Copyright User Platform


The technological developments towards digitization and enhanced electronic services confront libraries with increasing problems with regard to (electronic) copyright. Especially in the field of electronic (delivery) services a library-friendly solution has to be found rapidly. If not, it will frustrate further innovation of library services and will push libraries into a disadvantage position. ECUP+ builds on FP3-funded activities, started in 1993 and which included the establishment of the European Copyright User Platform and its awareness campaign.

The goals of this concerted action are to follow-up the results achieved under the previous ECUP activities and to establish new services to enhance the awareness on copyright amongst information professionals. The concerted action has been organised along four objectives:
to continue discussing library privileges in electronic services and to develop model clauses for licenses for the use of electronic information with rightholders and collecting societies;
to continue making librarians aware of the implications of copyright on electronic services and to introduce the results of the discussions with rightholders and collecting societies;
to establish a focal point for questions on copyright and information on EU legislative developments in this area;
to reinforce the position of libraries in discussions about copyright issues with the appropriate bodies.

Technical approach

During the first 9 months, a total of 6 meetings have been held in different compositions with the rightholders and the collecting societies. In the 9 months following 15 workshops will be given to report the results of these meetings.

The ECUP position paper drawn up after the meetings with all interested parties has been widely disseminated. It has been used as input to the WIPO discussions during the diplomatic conference in December 1996, and as a draft directive on copyright exemptions of the EC.

The focal point for copyright questions is to set up from the beginning of the contract and started with a discussion list. It also functions as the coordinator and distributor of information on copyright issues coming from the European institutions, WIPO, WTO and the USA Information Infrastructure Task Force. An inventory is made of the most frequently asked questions and the results published. The focal point is linked up with ISPO and other EU services on the WWW.

The focal point will be linked up with ISPO and other EU services on the WWW. The legislative changes agreed on by the Steering Group will be forwarded to the members of EBLIDA for promotion among the national governments.

Key issues

The main issues are:
the steering group;
a WWW server;
a moderated list server;
national workshops in all Member States;
the ECUP position paper.

Impact, users and expected results

The meetings between the rightholders and the library professionals have contributed to a better understanding and gives grounds for common actions. The workshops in the Member States will raise additional awareness to the workshops already held under the previous contract. The common actions with the rights owners will be introduced as well as the projects adopted under the Libraries Programme.

A focal point on copyright questions has been established. This focal point enables the participants under the Libraries Programme to acquire professional consultation on a subject which is vitally important to the library profession. The focal point will also enhance discussions on copyright issues over the WWW and will function as a one-stop shop for information on international copyright developments.

The activities of the Steering Group will reinforce the position of libraries at a national and an international level.


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