WWW Administration - Universitätsbibliothek Bielefeld

ECUP - European Copyright User Platform

Emanuella Giavarra LL.M., Project Director ECUP

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today I would like to inform you about a very exciting project in the field of copyright.

For the first time, at a European level, libraries have organised themselves and have taken the lead in discussing with authors, publishers and collecting societies the library exceptions under copyright for the use of electronic information. These exceptions are defined in every European legislation differently. In the UK the concept is called "fair dealing", in most of the other European countries it refers to the copying for private use, research and educational purposes.

There exists a lot of uncertainty among librarians on what they are allowed to do with electronic information in respect of copyright. A complicating factor is that the authors and the publishers have not made up their minds yet on what they should allow.

A first step in identifying the copyright problems, which the new technologies pose for libraries, was set by DG XIII-E4. They organised a concertation meeting on 29 November 1993 in Luxembourg. The meeting raised many important issues and problems that needed to be solved in the near future. It appeared that librarians are at a clear information disadvantage in respect of copyright.

EBLIDA offered assistance and was granted funding by DG XIII/E-4 for one year to set up the European Copyright User Platform and to conduct a Copyright Awareness Campaign for Librarians. The ECUP I project started on 28 October 1994. The Platform consisted of 38 full members of EBLIDA, which were national library, information and documentation associations. A special Steering Group was set up to coordinate and evaluate the results of the project.

First I would like to inform you on the results of the first ECUP project, before I will introduce to you the ECUP follow-up project.


The objectives of the ECUP I project were:
To connect the awareness raising and the identification of the copyright problems 14 workshops were organised in the Member States of the EU and one in Norway.

Three Steering Group meetings were held in which the "Library Position on Electronic Services" in the form of a matrix was drawn up.

The Position is based upon the following principles:

The matrix has been subdivided in the following categories: Free versus pay The word "free" in the matrix means that the end user does not have to pay for the service, the library does not have to pay on a per use basis and no permission is needed from the rights owner. The word "pay" means that the end user has to pay a remuneration for the service.

Internal library activities Digitisation should not be seen as an act of delivering. Theoretically there is no difference between photocopying and the scanning of hard copies. At the moment only a few publishers provide their products in electronic form. To meet the demand of the users, libraries should be allowed to store the information electronically. Permanent electronic storage and indexing should be allowed.

Open user group registered on-site An open user group is an unidentifiable group of users. When the information provider is able to identify the user, the user is categorized as registered. On-site is defined as every use within the premises of the building that provides the information at the moment he receives the information. Viewing includes access, searching, retrieving, etc.

Open user group unregistered on-site In this case the information provider is not able to identify the user. There is no contractual relationship between the information provider and the information receiver. This category applies to an public library environment where people can use the library without having to identify themselves.

Open user group registered off-site Off-site use means outside the premises of the information provider. This is an unidentifiable group of users, who become identifiable once they sign the registration page before accessing the database of for instance a University library. In this case the information receiver will pay for the information he receives electronically. This category does not apply to internal users of a University, like staff or students who have a password and a formal relationship with the institution. For these users the category of closed user group applies.

Open user group unregistered off-site These users should not have access at all. They should be registered by technical means.

Closed user group on-site/off-site This qualification will only be given to a clearly defined group. For example to companies or institutions which share information only among their staff. The information is not freely available for outsiders. This category includes the users registered as internal users of a University, like staff and students who have a password and a formal relationship with the institution or organization. Activities will be covered by a site-license, including the viewing and the copying on paper and electronically.

This position was discussed on 10 July 1995 with representatives of Elsevier Science, Academic Press, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Blackwell Science, Chadwyck-Healey, STM, FEP and IPCC.

One of the subjects which immediately started a discussion was the issue of Inter-Library Lending (ILL). According to the publishers ILL should be treated in the same way as Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) and should not be a free activity. ILL should not be recognised in an electronic environment. It was stressed that the implied sharing is the largest problem. The results of the discussions can be best summarized by the statement the publishers presented at the end of the meeting.

As an introduction it was stressed that they only represent the opinion of the attending representatives and that they were not speaking on behalf of the whole industry. They expressed their willingness to cooperate, not on the basis of a code of good practice, but by means of a model contract. They became more aware of the problems libraries are dealing with and would like to be involved in further discussions. The Statement was not addressed to the matrix because that would be a totally different discussion. The representatives were willing to discuss the matrix within their organisations and in the Working Group of European Librarians and Publishers (ELP).

The following Statement was produced:

"The electronic delivery of information significantly changes the commercial relationship between publishers and user groups. Electronic uses of copyright material will be facilitated by individual contracts between publishers and user groups, including librarians. Such contracting will allow for Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) directly from publishers to users and this excludes Inter-Library EDD carried out in the name of ILL. One way forward might be the development of a model contract between publishers and user groups."

It was stressed that this Statement reflected the future towards electronic publishing and not the situation at the present time.

The Steering Group felt that the meeting and the discussion on the matrix was a first step in the right direction. The ECUP I project came to an end in October 1995.


In order to continue the discussions with the rights owners additional funding was asked for under the Libraries Programme. Recently DGXIII/E-4 granted EBLIDA funding to continue the ECUP project for 3 years. The project started on 15 January 1996. The concept of the ECUP II project is more or less the same. A new aspect is the creation of a 'one stop shop' for copyright questions and documentation.

The objectives are:

The ECUP II project is organised along 5 workpackages:

Workpackage 1 - Library position on electronic services

Meetings will be organised with representatives of rights owners organisations and collecting societies to further discuss the library privileges in electronic services and model licensing clauses defined by the Steering Group.

Workpackage 2 - Awareness raising

Workshops will be held to continue making librarians aware of copyright and to introduce the discussed library position on electronic services defined by the Steering Group and the results achieved at the meetings with the rights owners and the collecting societies.

Workpackage 3 - Copyright Focal Point

A Copyright Focal Point will be set up and will deliver the following services: a moderated discussion list on European copyright issues; free consultancy; access via WWW to documents on European copyright law and legislation in preparation. The focal point is aiming to function as a "one stop shop" for European copyright developments. The discussion list will start in Spring 1996. More information will soon be available via I'm Europe: http://www.echo.lu/libraries/en/-libraries.html.

Workpackage 4 - Legislative recommendations

The Steering Group will come together after the discussions with the rights owners and the collecting societies to define legislative recommendations for the library position on electronic services to be lobbied for with the national legislators. The Steering Group has a different composition than the Steering Group of the ECUP I project. Reason for this is that we wanted to include representatives of LIBER and IFLA. The Steering Group consists of the following members: Mr Graham Cornish, British Library (BLDSC), UK
Dr Reinhard Ecker, Beilstein Institut, Germany
Mr Robbert Fisher, European Commission, Luxembourg
Ms Emanuella Giavarra, EBLIDA
Prof Elmar Mittler, LIBER
Mrs Sandy Norman, IFLA
Ms Sarah Pelcener, INIST, France
Mr Heikki Poroila, Vantaa City Library, Finland
Mrs Elspeth Scott, Glaxo Wellcome, UK
Mr Josep Sort, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Mr Dirk Visser, Leiden University, The Netherlands

The first meetings with the authors' organisations, collecting societies and the larger publishing houses have been on 10 - 12 March in London. The results can be read in the EBLIDA Hot News.

A copy of the ECUP I report is available at the EBLIDA secretariat, P.O. Box 43300, 2504 AH The Hague, The Netherlands.

Sekretariat der Bibliothek der Universitšt Bielefeld