EBLIDA Press Release

The Hague, 5th of June 2014.

Today, EBLIDA officially releases its latest Position Paper “The Right to E‐Read”.

This paper, successor to the EBLIDA paper “E‐Publishing and the Challenges for Libraries”(1), focuses on the issue of e‐books and their availability through libraries.

The current developments in the e‐books market are dramatically changing the way librariesare working. As well as giving access to a wide range of content from scientific toentertainment literature in all tangible formats (books, CDs, DVDs), since the 1990’s libraries have provided access to content in electronic formats, firstly for journals and now e‐books. Initially these developments occurred mainly in academic libraries but nowadays public libraries are very much involved as well. Libraries are in the midst of a transition from managing physical collections that they own to managing connections to e‐content provided and owned by others.

The paper identifies the problems, reviews and analyses several aspects of the current changes and makes two overarching recommendations:
• To move from the current unsatisfactory licensing offer to libraries to a regime of ‘Mandatory Fair Licences’ ;
• That the European Copyright Acquis be updated to deliver fair access to information for European libraries and their patrons.
This should be applicable by:

  • Voiding of licence terms that override Member State exceptions & limitations
  • Compulsory removal of TPMs for legitimate use
  • Giving the library the ‘right to acquire’ any work legitimately made available to the public

o including digital files
o so exhaustion principle applies, i.e. transfer of ownership

  • A mandatory library ‘right to lend’

o any work in any format
o including to ‘e‐lend’ remotely

  •  Sale of digital content to libraries at reasonable market prices.

Interested in reading more about the solutions? Please check our website for further details.

Find out more about the campaign at: http://www.eblida.org/e‐read/
Questions? Contact us at: e‐read@eblida.org.

(1) Published in April 2012, revised in July 2012 and April 2013.

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