Eurodoc signs an open letter to European Parliament to halt potentially harmful copyright reform

Eurodoc has signed an open letter directed to the members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in which asks to halt the adoption of the current draft of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market as some articles could threaten Open Access and Open Science.

Together with several other signatories, we express our alarm at the draft Directive 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 believe that further limitations in the open circulation of knowledge products are likely to pose, especially for doctoral candidates, a severe threat to the effectiveness of the education process, which would require a wide and unlimited access to papers and data. Further barriers risk to have a strong negative impact also on the career of researchers, especially ECRs, in terms of visibility of their work, credit and recognition, opportunity for funding and networking. 

In particular, with the provision of Article 13, and the possible closure of many non-profit repositories, many ECRs who often are working on their lab head's grant, may have no chance to even experience Open Science at all. This can happen especially for those working in small-medium universities, that can barely afford the already expensive subscriptions to publishers. Moreover, ECRs are more likely to embrace openness when their senior colleagues are acquainted to these publishing practices and when they have actual access to papers and data. As a consequence, provision of the mentioned articles risk to dramatically slowen the acceptance of Open Science itself as a publishing practice.

The letter has been firstly signed by a coalition comprised of academic, library, education, research and digital rights communities including

CESAER, COAR, The Commons Network, Communia Association, Creative Commons, C4C, EBLIDA, EIFL, EUA, Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, IFLA, LIBER, RLUK, Science Europe, and SPARC Europe.

The letter is available at the SPARC Europe website.