Take a look at our first webinar, and other events Knowledge Rights 21 is taking part in.


Watch this space for new webinars, conferences and other events coming up in 2023!


London, 25th April 2023, 9:30 GMT

In association with CILIP, the library and information association and RLUK, Research Libraries UK, Knowledge Rights 21 hosts a one day conference in London to discuss the latest policy developments around Open Science, AI, as well as broader issues of long term sustainable access to digital knowledge, and what is needed to take things further.

Past events & activities


Belgrade, 14-16 December

The Knowledge Rights 21 Programme joined a panel on the final day of this conference, which engaged librarians not just in Serbia, but across countries in the region. We talked about why the Programme exists, what we’re doing, and how they can get involved! Check out our presentation here.


Poland, 2 December 2022, 12:00 CET

Professor Konrad Gliscinski, lead researcher in our work package on Secure Digital Lending will be talking about this research to an audience of students and academics at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, on 2 December 2022. More on the university website!


Photo: Matthew Hurst, CC-BY-SA 2.0: bit.ly/3ex7T06

21 November 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 CET

Keywords: copyright, eBooks, licensing

In the majority of cases libraries no longer own their eBook collections – and unless there is much needed reform they never will. As publishers have abandoned copyright law in favour of choosing whether to lease digital content to libraries (or not), age-old practices undertaken in the public interest are brought into question. These include important activities such as common access irrespective of an individual’s financial position, collection development, teaching, preservation and cultural heritage. 

When books are not available to readers from libraries, authorship is also undermined. Libraries are places that encourage reading, research and intellectual exploration, and less access to materials from libraries impacts on an author’s capacity to create new works and for their works to be discovered. Moreover, they will have no guarantee that their own works will be available to new readers when publishers no longer find them commercially viable to keep “in print” on eBook platforms.

Recently, John Wiley & Sons made headlines internationally when it abruptly removed over 1,300 ebooks from academic library collections just as the new academic year was starting. This created extra costs for students, libraries and educators as they hurriedly tried to reconfigure reading lists and teaching plans as well as purchase replacement titles. Unsurprisingly the disruption Wiley caused universities was widely condemned by library groupsstudents and authors alike. 

In the face of widespread pressure, at the start of October, Wiley made headlines again when it announced it was restoring access, but only until June 2023. While a welcome respite from one publisher, this however changes little as high pricing, refusal to license, bundling, removal of titles with no notice and other issues remain the norm for eBook markets.

This webinar discussed the eBook crisis libraries, educators and authors face with international thought leaders in the sector. Exploring the many issues that have arisen as collections are increasingly leased and not owned, the session took the form of a wide-ranging interview and discussion with our panelists. 


Caroline Ball Co-founder of eBookSOS / Academic Librarian, University of Derby / Trustee, WikimediaUK

Mikkel Christoffersen Chief Consultant, Copenhagen Libraries

Dave Hansen Executive Director, Authors Alliance

Cathal McCauley President of the Library Association of Ireland /  University Librarian, Maynooth University

Recording available here


Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/ZjmKvH9pBrM

Webinar: 26 October 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 UTC

Keywords: Software, Digital Infrastructure, Digitisation, Workflows

This webinar brought together practitioners from the California Institute of Technology, Boston Public Library and Project ReShare, and will focus on the library workflows, software and infrastructures involved in digitising books and providing access to patrons. 

The internet has revolutionised how libraries and their users can access books. Project Gutenberg, started in 1971, is one of the world’s largest online repositories of public domain eBooks. 2019 copyright reforms in Europe now allow for the mass digitisation and access to out-of-commerce and never-in-commerce works including books. Libraries in North America in particular are digitising titles in their collections to create eBooks for lending.

While much of the discussion in America is around digital lending currently and the Internet Archive’s Open Library, a more immediate question for many libraries in Europe is the practicality of digitising books and giving access. These may be public domain materials or in-copyright titles, and involve reforms around out of commerce works or lending under national laws in the light of the Court of Justice of the European Union eBook ruling VOB v Stichting Leenrecht.

Amongst other things, the webinar will include a discussion of secure digital lending technologies that ensure no more copies of copyrighted works are provided to library patrons than are owned by the library in physical form. It provides a better idea of how libraries can put in place infrastructures and workflows to support access to digital content and collections.


Tommy Keswick: Digital Technologies Development Librarian. California Institute of Technology.

David Leonard: President. Boston Public Library.

Allen Jones: Director of Digital Libraries & Technical Services. The New School

Jennie Rose Halperin: Executive Director, Library Futures

Recording available HERE


Oxford, United Kingdom

Date: 8 September 2022

This annual conference focuses on sharing ideas on how best to teach about copyright, giving people the confidence to help others navigate the topic without fear or confusion. Knowledge Rights 21 will be there, talking about the importance of teaching copyright in a way that enables people to become advocates for copyright reform, and encouraging others to join in this effort. Find out more on the conference website.

Repair & Copyright: Overcoming the invisible barriers to repair


Date: 14 September 2022

As our devices get smarter, barriers to repair have gone beyond the physical and become increasingly intangible. As our Copyright law can place substantial constraints on users’ rights to disassemble their products and modify computer programmes and other digital works. Independent repairers should not be blocked from carrying repairs by manufacturers’ extended powers. To explore how software and copyright rules are essential in guaranteeing a comprehensive right to repair, join us online on 14 September 2022 from 14:00 to 15:30 CEST. Register here.


Zadar, Croatia

Date: 14-16 September 2022

A key event in the Open Access calendar, PubMet brings together practitioners and experts to look at the evolving scholarly communications landscape. A key theme this year is rights retention, which is also one of the key topics addressed by Knowledge Rights 21. We will therefore be present in Zadar, giving a presentation on what KR21 is doing in this space, and welcome the opportunity to engage with participants who want to give involved. Find out more on the conference website.

OASPA Conference 2022


Date: 20-22 September 2022

The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) is organising its 2022 conference online, under the theme of going Beyond Open Access. KR21 will present a poster session focused on a key element of this – taking a more proactive approach to research rights in legislation. Dial in to hear about our thinking in this area, and to connect! Find our more on the conference website

Europeana Conference 2022

Hybrid – The Hague, The Netherlands/Online

Date: 28-29 September 2022

Under the theme Making Digital Culture Count, the 2022 Europeana conference will bring people together, in person and online, in order to explore what the full realisation of the potential of digital in culture looks like. KR21 will lead a session focused on the merits of a more flexible approach to copyright laws through open norms as a key ingredient of this, ensuring that laws adapt to technology and practice. Join us there in order to learn more and about how to get involved! Find out more on the conference website.


LIBER Annual Conference 2022

Odense, Denmark

Date: 6-8 July 2022

Ben White (Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of KR21) held a workshop on: “The eBook dilemma: copyright, licencing and digital lending in libraries.”

The workshop was designed jointly by the reCreating Europe and Knowledge Rights 21 projects, and shared findings and observations on the topic of copyright and eBooks. The first part of the workshop briefly illustrated the copyright framework that is relevant to libraries and users, with a specific focus on EU and national copyright rules concerning public lending and the preservation of cultural heritage, and prepared the audience for the second part of the workshop. The second part of the workshop was lead by Knowledge Rights 21 and focused on the issues that face educational libraries regarding eBooks, and what can be done about it.


8th German Library Congress in Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany

Date: 31 May – 2 June 2022

KR21 was present in the Freiraum space at the German Library Congress, and gave an overview of the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme and the opportunities that it offers libraries and library associations to build capacity and support the achievement of reforms to policies and laws.