Civil society statement supporting WTO TRIPS waiver proposal | EIFL

“EIFL and partner consortia in Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Uganda and Zimbabwe joined over 250 organizations, prominent researchers and copyright experts calling for a reduction of copyright barriers to COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment at the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

The statement by global civil society groups and prominent researchers focuses particular attention on the need to include copyright rules within the waiver….”

Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)

“We support the work and interests of millions of researchers, educators, libraries, archives and museums around the world who are contributing to the prevention, containment and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic through promotion of access to knowledge. We applaud the efforts of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to address copyright barriers to an equitable response to COVID-19. Access to copyrighted works, in addition to patents and know-how, is needed to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to develop treatments. COVID-19 has aggravated deep inequalities in access to knowledge. In some countries with flexible copyright systems, residents are able to access and use essential materials in remote educational, learning and research activities, virtually access and use the collections of libraries and other institutions, and contribute to research on treatments using advanced processes such as text and data mining. But these activities are not taking place everywhere because they are not lawful everywhere….”

EIFL, IFLA issue call on World Trade Organization | EIFL

“EIFL and IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) have called on the Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to extend international trade law measures which reduce burdens on the poorest countries, and allow them to set regulatory frameworks for copyright to enable their libraries to support education, research and cultural participation….

The meeting, that takes place on 10-11 March 2021, will discuss, among other issues, a request by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to extend an exemption for LDCs from implementing the substantive obligations for protection and enforcement of IP rights, including copyright, in the TRIPS Agreement….

For the library community, it [extending the exemption] would have the practical effect of enabling governments freely to craft modern copyright exceptions to maximize possibilities to use copyright-protected content for education, research and innovation, without fear of sanction. For example, it would facilitate classroom use and online education, support world-class research, and enable the use of digital tools, such as text and data mining (TDM) for medical and scientific discovery….”

International and national copyright policy action for OA – SPARC Europe

“A joint webinar between SPARC Europe and EIFL

Target audience
Open Science policymakers, Research Funding Organizations and Research Performing Organizations managers, librarians, repository managers and academic institutional copyright experts.
We will organise a separate event for publishers….”

EIFL renews Bookshare agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has renewed its three-year agreement with Benetech, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, USA, for access to Bookshare, the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities….

As part of the renewed agreement, libraries in 20 EIFL countries can sign up for free to allow their print-disabled readers to use Bookshare:

 

Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe….”

MERAL Portal: Next steps for OA in Myanmar | EIFL

“Myanmar’s research community has enthusiastically embraced the new Myanmar Education Research and Learning (MERAL) Portal. 

In just four months since the launch of the MERAL Portal in July 2020, content has doubled. The portal now includes almost 6,000 journal articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, research papers, books and books chapters from 19 universities. 

The MERAL Portal is a partnership between the Myanmar Rectors’ Committee, National Education Policy Commission, Department of Higher Education, the Ministry of Education, EIFL and the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. The partners signed an agreement to develop a national portal for research outputs from Myanmar universities in February, 2020. …”

EIFL, IWAP sign free Read & Publish agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has signed an agreement with IWA Publishing – the publishing arm of the International Water Association – to provide free access to their 10 paywalled journals for libraries as well as free open access publishing for corresponding authors in their 15 fully open access and hybrid journals covering water, wastewater and related environmental fields. The agreement is valid until 31st December 2023….”

Ask the Community (and Chefs): How Can We Achieve Equitable Participation in Open Research? – Part 2 – The Scholarly Kitchen

In yesterday’s “Ask the Community (and Chefs)” post, most contributors acknowledged that some progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go. Today we continue to add the voices of Chefs and community members. Please add your own responses to the question in the comments.

On a knife edge? South Africa’s new copyright law | EIFL

“The Copyright Amendment Bill [B13B – 2017] had been sitting on the desk of President Cyril Ramaphosa for over a year waiting to be signed into law. In June 2020, when Blind South Africa issued a legal challenge over the delay, the President acted. But instead of signing the Bill that had been approved by the legislature, the President used his prerogative to return it to parliament citing constitutional concerns with certain aspects, including new exceptions for libraries, education and persons with disabilities.

The President’s rejection of the Bill is widely seen as the result of pressure by copyright industries, and the threat of trade sanctions and reduced future investment from the United States and the European Union. …

In advance of the briefing, EIFL wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly and to the Portfolio Committee to pledge support for the Bill. EIFL’s letter sets out how libraries and educational institutions in South Africa, and the millions of South Africans citizens they serve, will benefit greatly from new exceptions designed for non-commercial uses. They will help to re-calibrate the existing copyright system in South Africa which forces resource-deprived institutions to pay high licence fees to largely European and US companies. (For example, the 2011 Copyright Review Commission Report, known as the Farlam Review, confirmed that 70% of copying fees paid by higher education institutions in the previous year were distributed to foreign rightsholders). While this is a windfall for these companies, it is in our view, bad public policy for South Africa.

EIFL’s letter also notes that the exceptions in the Bill are modelled on provisions in the copyright laws of developed countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the US, that the Bill seeks merely to ensure that libraries and educational institutions in South Africa have the same rights than their counterparts in these countries, and any concerns that they may be inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations under international copyright treaties are misplaced….”

EIFL welcomes Rights Retention Strategy for researchers | EIFL

“EIFL welcomes the Rights Retention Strategy that will make it easier for repositories to provide full and immediate open access, and encourages researchers and publishers to follow it. Creative Commons licences are internationally recognized, well-established, and both human-readable and machine-readable. CC BY 4.0 is the most liberal Creative Commons licence that ensures repositories interoperability and also allows users and machines to re-use content in data analytics, text and data mining, etc. 

EIFL has been working on a campaign called ‘Your Work. Your Rights. KNOW.THINK.RETAIN’, re-using the concept of ‘Think.Check.Submit’ that helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers. When researchers publish their articles in open access journals, they retain their full copyrights. However, if they choose to publish in a subscription access journal, they are required to sign a form transferring some – or all – of their copyrights to the publisher. With our campaign, we want to raise the awareness of researchers about their intellectual ownership rights and power to suppress unreasonable embargo periods.

The cOALition S Rights Retention Strategy now makes it much easier for researchers to retain their copyright and strengthens our campaign. Over the coming weeks, the cOAlition S Office will be hosting a series of webinars to provide further information and to answer any questions publishers and journals editors may have about the Rights Retention Strategy.”

How can I get access to the article I need? | EIFL

“In order to help researchers retrieve legal copies of full-text articles that they can’t find in their library, EIFL has created a poster with useful links to other places where they can look for an article they need, such as open access search engines or browser extensions.

We are encouraging librarians to share the poster widely with faculty and students through their university and institutional websites, newsletters and social media. EIFL can help libraries customize the poster, for example, by adding the library’s logo and links to the library’s subscribed e-resources.”

How can I get access to the article I need? | EIFL

“In order to help researchers retrieve legal copies of full-text articles that they can’t find in their library, EIFL has created a poster with useful links to other places where they can look for an article they need, such as open access search engines or browser extensions.

We are encouraging librarians to share the poster widely with faculty and students through their university and institutional websites, newsletters and social media. EIFL can help libraries customize the poster, for example, by adding the library’s logo and links to the library’s subscribed e-resources.”

COVID lessons – copyright and online learning | EIFL

“As teachers look to preparing lessons for the new academic year and librarians try to manage access to library collections, a reliance on temporary fixes and the goodwill of individual publishers is raising questions about the real resilience of the legal framework in delivering for education and science globally, and the need to explore new approaches, especially for times of crisis.

For example, in the UK, Research Libraries UK coordinated an open letter to the Secretaries of State for Education and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for copyright rules to be relaxed to enable remote learning and research during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Europe, LIBER, the Association of Research Libraries in Europe, called on the European Commission and member states to issue urgent guidance to ensure that researchers, educational establishments and libraries are able to fulfil their responsibilities without fear of litigation, stating the need for a public interest defence in times of medical, environmental or economic crisis, such as COVID-19.

COMMUNIA put forward the case that basic rights such as freedom of information and the right to science and education, enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, should be capable of being applied as a break on exclusive copyrights in exceptional situations. 

In the US, library copyright specialists reaffirmed the role of fair use in supporting remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19.

Also in the US, the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library (NEL), launched at the start of the pandemic to provide books to support emergency remote teaching, is being sued for mass copyright infringement by four commercial publishers….”