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EBLIDA Newsletter
Issue No. 2 February 2017

The President’s Editorial

Jukka Relander, EBLIDA President
Dear Colleagues,
I had a brief chat with Swedish IT entrepreneur and investor Nicklas Bergman, at a seminar I was hosting last week. He is a widely used expert in all kinds of futuristic technology, a regular in Davos and a member of a 12 member group of experts aiming to develop innovative Europe, set by European Commission.

What about libraries, then, I asked him.

His immediate reaction was, that libraries are a bit out of date and rather in decline than developing into something new and fancy. ”That is not my opinion”, he said, and started praising development in, say, English libraries, which have turned, according to him, from book museums into interesting community centers, with lots of interesting things going on.  So he thought that libraries are modern and interesting, but have an outdated image.
I think we should do something about that.
The challenge is to have libraries that innovate, that are edgy, without sacrificing the core, that is, the rather traditional library services  people still want to have in their own library nearby. This is also how I translate our theme for Eblida Conference in Aarhus, re-thinking libraries, being held on the 4th of May 2017.
I guess the point is that we should be more effective in advertising what libraries already are. People visiting libraries often imagine, that they drop in to the library of their childhood in the seventies, without noticing what is really going on around them.
This is why I think that we should talk more about libraries. And make people talk.  Let’s talk in Aarhus.  There is a lot to re-think!
See you in Aarhus.

Jukka Relander
EBLIDA President


CULT Committee Draft Opinion on the Digital Single Market Directive on Copyright

European Parliament
The draft opinion on copyright in the Digital Single Market from the Culture and Education (CULT) Committee of the European Parliament has been published. The  rapporteur of the draft Opinion is MEP Marc Joulaud (EPP, France).

The presentation of the draft opinion should take place during the CULT Committee meeting of 27-28 February. The Committee vote is currently scheduled for 4 May.

The annex to the draft opinion displays a list of entities or persons from whom the Rapporteur has received input.

In his short justification for the draft opinion, the Rapporteur notes that he has tabled amendments related to four key objectives:

1. Provide legal certainty regarding the new exceptions and limitations

“The Rapporteur supports the new mandatory exceptions and limitations provided in this Directive (...)However, in the opinion of the Rapporteur, the current proposal does not provide full legal clarity on the burden of the parties involved in each exception, which would jeopardise their effectiveness and hamper their harmonised implementation. Therefore, the rapporteur has specified the obligations of the relevant parties involved in the exceptions, in order to reduce the risk of harm for rightholders (Article 3), give certainty on recourse to licences or the exception (Article 4) and to secure common practices (Article 5).

2. Define digital content platforms and ensure a fair cooperation with rightholders

“(...) the Rapporteur has proposed a new definition covering the information society services falling within the scope of this Directive, which he has termed ‘digital content platforms’. Instead of focusing on the technical characteristics of the service (ie the notion of storage), the Rapporteur believes that the notion of principal purpose is more appropriate to encapsulate properly the services relevant for the provisions of this Directive.”

“(...) digital content platforms are considered to be information society services the main purpose of which is to provide the public with a significant amount of user-generated content, copyright-protected works or other subject-matter uploaded or displayed by their users for the purpose of information, entertainment or education.

3. Create a new pillar to protect consumer’s legitimate practices

“From a legal standpoint, it is also the opinion of the Rapporteur that digital practices of users do not benefit from legal certainty under the current copyright rules, in particular the exceptions and limitations, and therefore require a specific approach, a fourth pillar within this Directive.”

“To create this fourth pillar, the Rapporteur first defines the notion of ’user-generated content’, which is at the core of most user practices online.”

 “In order to acknowledge and secure common non-commercial user practices that are not harmful for rightholders, the Rapporteur has enshrined the so-called “panorama exception” through a minimum harmonisation of the existing exception and excluded non-commercial uses from the scope of protection of press publications (Article 11).”

“the Rapporteur has reinforced the complaints and redress mechanism in Article 13 to provide a minimum level of legal certainty for users with regard to the procedures”.

4. Allow authors and performers to effectively enforce their rights

“In order to prevent any chilling effect that might dissuade authors and performers from enforcing their rights, the Rapporteur has provided that disputes between authors, performers and their contractual partners may be initiated either on an individual or collective basis.”

Information provided by C4C.

A new President for the European Parliament

Antonio Tajani, President for the European Parliament

Since Tuesday 17 January 2017, Antonio Tajani, an Italian MEP of the European People Party is the new President of the European Parliament replacing Martin Schulz (Germany, S&D).

He was elected with 351 votes in the fourth and final round against 282 votes for his rival Gianni Pittella, Italian  MEP, Socialist and Democrat.

The details about the ballots are accessible on the Parliament webpage here.

The new webpage of the President is accessible here.

This election also comes with a change in the so-called bureau of the European Parliament composed of 14 Vice-Presidents and 5 Quaestors.

We are happy to note that 2 MEPs of the MEP Library Lovers Group are members of the bureau: Mairead McGuinness (EPP, Ireland) and Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, France).

A Hearing on the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation at the EU Parliament on 30 January 2017

Marrakesh Treaty

Monday 30 January, a hearing on the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in the EU was held in the European Parliament.

Read the report on this hearing by David Hammerstein from the World Blind Union below:

The European Commission, the EBU and librarians take a firm stance in favour of strong EU Marrakesh Treaty legislation

At a hearing yesterday in the European Parliament´s Legal Affairs Committee the European Commission, European Union President and libraries spokesperson all took strong positions against the weakening of the Marrakesh Treaty legislation by introducing compensation, commercial availability or authorized entity registration clauses into the Regulation and Directive now being considered. Marco Giorello of the European Commission summed up this sentiment with a very clear statement: “Concerning market availability and compensation proposals and given the specificity of this issue, there is no need to add them to this legislation that clearly responds to a clear problem of “market failure” and to introduce to the internal market additional requirements would not be justified in light of the additional burdens it would mean.”

Maria Martín Prat, Copyright Head at the European Commission, opened the meeting by admitting that the EU was initially against the idea of a treaty but that the EU´s position evolved over time as did its commitment to reach a positive result at the 2013 diplomatic conference in Marrakesh when she said “we couldn´t leave Marrakesh without a Treaty”. She insisted on keeping the EU legislation user- friendly and without unnecessary barriers.

The President of the European Blind Union, Wolfgang Angermann was very clear: “we demand total respect for article 11 of the legislation that excludes the possibility of commercial availability and compensation schemes”. Referring to the publishers who are asking for commercial availability rules, he said that “some people would like our accessible bookshelves to be empty and to only allow us to have books that can be purchased and that would be discriminatory against blind persons”. “On compensation for publishers there is no need for incentives because the Treaty exists in the first place because of a market failure by the same publishers.” He said it made no sense for blind persons organisations to have the double burden of producing the formatted books and also paying publishers for them. Mr. Angermann voiced strong support for the key elements of the European Commission proposal to assure full compliance with the Marrakesh Treaty.

Stephen Wyber in representation of International Librarians explained the essential role of librarians in distributing accessible books around the world. He said that if the EU did not get their legislation right, by adding more administrative and financial burdens, the Treaty would not be able to serve millions of blind and visually impaired persons globally.

The Directive and the Regulation will be put to a vote on February 28 in the European Parliament´s Legal Affairs Committee when over 100 amendments from the different political groups will be considered. After the vote, the European Parliament, led by rapporteur MEP Max Andersson, will begin negotiations with the Council (EU member states) in order to reach a final agreement on the legislation. Once the Directive and Regulation are adopted by the European Parliament plenary, the Council will be expected to ratify the Treaty if there are no other unexpected problems.

You may also be interested in this article by IPwatch:

Read also our article under the section Europe and Worldwide.

A seminar from FEP/IFRRO/EWC on Copyright at the European Parliament on 02 February 2017

European Parliament On 2nd February, EWC-FEP-IFRRO held a seminar on the Copyright Reform on the topics of making out of commerce The seminar was hosted by MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP, Malta) and MEP Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France).
In the context of copyright reform, the aim was to reflect on making out of commerce works available to the public and facilitating access to published works in education.
Read more

Read the report by our colleague Stephen Wyber (IFLA).
Jean-Marie Cavada MEP opened the meeting with a plea for the protection of artists and diversity, and skepticism towards digital industries. He suggested that ISPs and platforms should have 3 responsibilities: Security, Editorial responsibility and Financial responsibility (of which only one was potentially a copyright policy, rather than an enforcement/fiscal question). Marco Giorello, Deputy Head of the Copyright Unit, European Commission, then introduced the proposed directive on copyright in the DSM to the audience, suggesting that he felt the proposal on out of commerce work (mandating extended collective licensing or presumption of representation, but with a restrictive definition of out of commerce works) was balanced. He did indicate some concern about the impact of the Soulier and Doke (C-301/15) on such a solution.
The session then split into two panels, one focusing on making out of commerce works available to the public, and one on illustration for teaching.
The Out-of-Commerce Works session presented Germany (where libraries, and notably the National Library works closely with the VG Wort collecting society to identify and obtain licenses for out of commerce works dating from before 1966) and Norway (where the Bokhylla programme is well on its way to having digitised all pre-2001 works) as examples of successful library-rightholder cooperation.
Elisabeth Niggemann, the German National Librarian and Aslak Sira Myrhe, the Director of the Norwegian National Library both spoke, alongside collecting society representatives. Both noted that while programmes for digitising and making out-of-commerce works available to users worked well, they had ambitions to do more. Mr Myrhe in particular called on Europe’s decision makers not to do anything that could reduce access
The education panel focused on existing schemes for licensing use of copyrighted works in education, with examples from Finland, France and the UK, with a call from the Legal Advisor at Hachette for mandatory licenses for educational purposes. Therese Comodini Cachia MEP, the lead in the European Parliament on the dossier, closed the meeting, arguing that she needed to find a balanced approach, but one that actually worked in a digital world. Trying to replicate pre-digital rules would not necessarily work. At the same time, anyone monetising copyrighted works should ensure that they share their earnings with creators.
With no time allocated for questions and answers, there was no opportunity to enter into discussion of whether the examples set out could be applicable elsewhere in Europe. While positive examples are welcome, library organisations have been consistent in underlining that we need solutions that work for everyone.

EUROPE and Worldwide

IFLA-EBLIDA joint statement calling Europe to take action to end the book famine

IFLA, EIFL and EBLIDAOver the past few months, EBLIDA together with IFLA and EIFL issued a number of statements and position papers concerning the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union.

In the current context of digital single market proposals in the framework of copyright reform, the European Commission, proposed a directive and a regulation on Marrakesh.

Those legal instruments are now being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.

Our organisations have established good contact with MEPs in charge of this file.
However, we have recently become aware of proposals by the German government to introduce amendments that would oblige beneficiaries and authorised entities (such as libraries) to pay compensation to rightholders for creating and sharing accessible format copies of works, with part of this money going to publishers. This was the subject of David Hammerstein’s  (World Blind Union) article published in our January newsletter. It is to be noted that while Council meetings are closed to the public, we are also aware that other countries have been lobbying for similar provisions.
Given the need to make it clear that these calls are contrary to the spirit of Marrakesh, EBLIDA together with IFLA and EIFL issued on Friday 13 January a joint statement and an infographic calling Europe to take action to end the book famine.
A few days later, a hearing was organised in the European Parliament (see our section Inside Brussels above).


EBLIDA briefing on the e-lending judgement of the CJEU

E-lending is an issue that will stay high on the European agenda and in every discussion with European policy makers.
Considering that the judgement of the CJEU in case C-174/15 brought some new elements for discussion, EBLIDA tasked its expert group on information law to compile a 6 page briefing of the case.

The briefing is divided into three sections:

  1. The main content of the ruling;
  2. Frequently Asked Questions;
  3. Next steps.

Since 19 January 2017, the briefing is accessible on the EBLIDA website.

Reminder: Next EBLIDA NAPLE Annual Council and Conference, 3-4 May 2017

25th EBLIDA Annual Council Meeting & EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference, Aarhus, Denmark

Programme overview :

Please note that time is subject to change
Day 1 - Wednesday May 3rd 2017
EBLIDA Council Meeting 2017
(For EBLIDA members only)
13.30 – 16.30 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Store Sal
Programme will be made accessible to members only via a secured website.

NAPLE General Assembly (For NAPLE members only)
13.00 – 17.30 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Lille Sal
Programme – See

Expert Meetings
(By invitation only)
10.00 – 13.00 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Meeting room 1 & Meeting room 2

Social programme
Reception May 3 2017
Optional, host Aarhus Municipality
18.00 Aarhus City Hall
Dinner May 3 2017
Optional, price 40 EURO
20.30 – 23.00
Visit Aarhus by yourself
Museums etc
Visit a library by yourself
Dokk1 and branches
The Royal Library Aarhus
Day 2 – Thursday May 4th 2017
2017 Conference:  “Let’s Rethink”
Conference registration: 8.30 – 9.30*
Conference: 9.45 – 16.10* (lunch/coffee included)
Venue: Dokk 1
* time subject to change
Early registration fee (before 17th March)
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: 100 € 
- non members: 120 € 
Standard registration fee (17 March to 1st May):
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: 130 €
- non members: 150 € 
Registration now open!
Check all necessary information at
Read more on the Let’s Rethink conference
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of EBLIDA. Since 1992 and the date of its inception, the environment in which libraries exist has dramatically changed.
It is not a single change, but a multiple that have impacted on the information sector at different levels and these factors together have combined to accelerate the transformation of our institutions.
25 years is therefore the right time to rethink.
Let’s rethink is the actual theme of Aarhus, European Capital for Culture 2017, and it seemed fitting to adopt this motivating theme and make it ours after 25 years of existence to rethink our work, our mission and our impact through a one-day conference on 4 May 2017.
Design thinking, 24/7 information accessible everywhere, from all devices, hyper-connected citizens, the Internet of things, big data, smarts cities, information overload, artificial intelligence, androids, mass-digitisation, books, music, movies, literacy, trans-literacy, e-books etc.  Those are some of the key words that are used in our daily environment and are having an impact upon the ways in which librarians work.
Besides these usual suspects, the global shift towards digitisation disrupts traditional ways of working.
It offers new opportunities for us to better serve our patrons but it also presents new challenges, as new business models compete with the services that libraries offer.
Ultimately, European society (and more broadly, society as a whole) is facing new challenges in the form of unemployment, illiteracy, migration and terrorism to name but a few, while communication from one end of the earth to the other has never been easier.
In this ever evolving environment where human attention is now a scarce commodity, librarians need to rethink their role and how their missions can benefit citizens.
During the day in addition to the keynote speech, we will be working through 3 main sessions.
  • A round table that will address the issue of Rethinking in a competing environment;
  • A world café to Rethinking Library Advocacy.
  • A session in the form of a retroactive look throughout the years to Rethink our achievements and the way forward.
This conference is jointly organised with the National Authorities of Public Libraries in Europe (NAPLE), and supported by the Danish Library Association and the City of Aarhus.
In addition to our Keynote-Speaker Vincent Chapdelaine (see our previous edition), the Steering Committee of the EBLIDA-NAPLE Annual Conference 2017 drafted an exciting programme for you. Check it out here. The combination offers a rich mix of sessions that will allow the audience to actively contribute to the debate.
Again we remind you to please save the dates on your calendar. We recommend you to book your hotel as soon as possible as Aarhus has been appointed European Capital of Culture for 2017 and will attract millions of visitors.
We hope you will join us in Aarhus to rethink together as well as to participate at the Annual Council meeting of EBLIDA or NAPLE General Assembly on Wednesday 3rd May.

Reminder - Upcoming EBLIDA Executive Committee Meeting – Valletta (Malta) – February 2017

Malta flagEBLIDA will host its 1st Executive Committee of the year in Valetta, Malta.
The event is being organised with the support of MaLIA, the Maltese Library Association and the National Library of Malta.

We will take the opportunity of this meeting to strengthen our connections with our Maltese colleagues. Furthermore, we are preparing a special library event for Maltese MEPs who will be invited to a library tour and a meeting with European Librarians to discover more about our work, our strengths and the issues we are facing both in Malta and throughout  Europe.

Membership Enquiry

Events and Dates


Date Location Event Organizer
12 February St. Gallen, Switzerland 13th International Conference on Information Technology: "Towards Thought Leadership in Digital Transformation" Organizing Committee
14 February Oslo, Norway Impact and Measurement of Open Access OpenAIRE
20 -21 February
London, United Kingdom Researcher to Reader Conference Researcher to Reader
20 -23 February
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 12th International Digital Curation Conference: "Upstream, Downstream: embedding digital curation workflows for data science, scholarship and society" Digital Curation Centre (DCC)
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