poster22finaloutlines copyThis event was co-organized by the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the Digital Agenda Intergroup.

The current fragmented and obsolete EU copyright regime is clearly not a helpful tool for the realisation of the European Research Area.

While as many as 81% of researchers stated copyright law constrains scientific research, we politicians must take a serious and ambitious position that supports European-wide research and education. In the report on the implementation of the “InfoSoc Directive” (the Reda report) I therefore called for the harmonization of exceptions and limitations in the area of research & education because these activities increasingly take place across borders.

After the Report was adopted in June 2015 by the European Parliament, I had the pleasure to host a breakfast with LERU, to review the EU copyright framework from the researchers side.

The top 3 demands that were made during the breakfast-meeting were:

  • EU-wide copyright exception for research and education purposes
  • The right to apply text and data mining algorithms to content they have legal access to
  • Open access publishing to stop the transfer of public funds from universities to multinational publishing house

Text & data mining is an automated technique that extracts facts from texts and databases that may be covered by exclusive rights, but anyone who has already obtained legal access to these sources should be able to freely perform text & data mining on them, for any purpose. The right to read is the right to mine. To the concerns voiced by scientific publishers that an exception would hurt their commercial text & data mining offers, I responded that publishers or other companies would still be able to develop and commercially offer software tools that may make text & data mining easier in practice, but that the publishers must nevertheless give subscribers full access to the raw data so any researchers have the possibility to perform their own text & data mining analysis.


  • 8.30 – 8.45 Coffee and croissants
  • 8.45 – 8.55 Welcome and introduction by Prof. Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General, LERU
  • 8.55 – 9.15 Keynote: What universities need from EU copyright reform, Dr. Paul Ayris, Chair of LERU Chief Information Officers Community and Director of University College London Library Services
  • 9.15 – 9.45 Responses from the European Commission and the European Parliament, moderated by Prof. Deketelaere, Ms Maria Martin-Prat, Head of Unit-Copyright, European Commission and Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament
  • 9.45 – 10.00 Q&A and discussion from the floor, chaired by Prof. Kurt Deketelaere

For a detailed overview of LERU’s position on the EU copyright reform, please read their statement “The right to read is the right to mine”.

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

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