Report on Activities (2022)

    The Arcadia Foundation awarded a grant to Stichting IFLA Foundation, in order to implement the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme. The Programme is being implemented by IFLA in coordination with its partners LIBER and SPARC Europe.

    The goal of the grant is to achieve and implement reforms to copyright law and regulation that enable libraries to provide significantly greater possibilities to access and use copyrighted works. The Programme aims to promote reform at the European and national levels and provide valuable examples for the rest of the world.

    Knowledge Rights 21 is focused on 5 main activities:

    • Facilitating access to e-books for users of public and academic libraries;
    • Protecting users’ rights from contract override and technological protection measures
    • Socialising open norms in Europe;
    • Advocating for legislated secondary publishing rights;
    • Accelerating the uptake of rights retention.

    The programme also aims to build strong networks on copyright in national library fields and enable these to work closely together with partner stakeholders, in line with its long-term goal of ensuring that libraries are able to bring their voices to the table in subsequent reforms and debates.

    In 2022, the Programme focused on delivery, building on the structures created in the previous year. In the course of the year, therefore, the following work packages were commissioned, aiming to fill evidence gaps and support advocacy:

    • A competition analysis of eBook markets;
    • An exploration of the legal aspects of secure digital lending
    • An exploration of the experience of integrating open norms into copyright frameworks
    • An evaluation of secondary publishing rights as already implemented to provide lessons for the future
    • An evaluation of rights retention policies and their implementation
    • A review of contracts offered to libraries for digital content to assess how regularly these stand in the way of core library activities

    These should all deliver in or by the summer 2023. In addition, the Programme has taken on national coordinators to lead in developing national networks around copyright reform in Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and the Western Balkans, and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, we have commissioned national projects in Poland and Spain, with additional ones well-progressed in Slovenia.

    The Programme has also started to produce position papers, notably around eBooks and lending, and secondary publishing rights, which have provided a valuable tool and focus for advocacy work, at the national and European levels. At the European level, we have recruited a European affairs lead, who has worked to build the profile of the Programme within the European Parliament and beyond, leading to growing recognition as a stakeholder, and subsequent invitations to participate in events at the Parliament and Commission.

    Towards the end of the year, the Programme took on a Senior Programme Administrator to help coordinate its work.

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