Countries

BulgariaFinland | Germany | Greece | Ireland | Italy | Netherlands | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | UK


Bulgaria

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Ana Lazarova, KR21’s national coordinator for Bulgaria.

Jan ’24 | New Legislative Developments in Support of Open Science – Bulgaria and Slovenia

Watch this webinar that discusses exciting new legislative developments in Bulgaria and Slovenia to support Open Science. Joining the growing number of countries that are adopting laws to ensure access to publicly funded research, the event explores, with the help of our national coordinators Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (Slovenia and Western Balkans region) and Ana Lazarova (Bulgaria), the following themes:

  • How intellectual property barriers to open access are being overcome;
  • How good governmental strategy can promote open science;
  • Provide insights into the Slovenian law, which requires immediate open access and licensing of majority publicly funded  materials based on legal requirements mandating rights retention; and,
  • Examine the new law in Bulgaria, which prevents contracts with publishers from overriding rights retention and the republication of publicly funded articles in open access repositories.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Jan ’24 | Key Wins on Knowledge Rights 21 Priorities in Bulgaria’s Implementation of the Digital Single Market Directive

A classic tale of ‘better late than never’: the 2021 deadline may have lapsed, but Bulgaria takes major steps forward for knowledge rights in implementing the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive). The efforts of KR21’s national coordinator, Ana Lazarova, have been pivotal in mobilising the academic community in this process.

Dive into our blog post for more insight or read Ana’s Kluwer Copyright Blog contribution, and don’t forget to check this webinar recording.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.


Finland

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Pirjo Kangas, KR21’s national coordinator for Finland.

Dec ’23 | The Finnish Bill on Ebook Lending: What’s in It for Libraries? Not So Much Perhaps …

The amendment to the Finnish Copyright Act is a missed opportunity in KR21’s view.

The effort relies on tax money to ‘solve’ contractual issues between authors and publishers while failing to guarantee libraries enjoy equal rights in the digital world as in the analogue. This threatens libraries’ ability to perform their societal function, affecting education, research, and scientific and technical development.

Share our analysis on LinkedIn and Twitter/X. Don’t forget to check out our thread.

Feb ’23 | The Finnish Government’s Consultation on Ebooks: The Curious Case of Cherry Picking and Mistaking Lending for Renting

KR21 criticises Finland’s proposal on e-book library loans, arguing it burdens taxpayers and fails to ensure library access to digital titles. The plan, meant to address author remuneration and licensing issues, is seen as inadequate, ignoring broader access rights and relying on flawed copyright law interpretations.


Germany

This contribution by Harald Müller, a member of the KR21 Policy Committee, explains how German libraries are able to copy their complete holdings, both analogue and digital, with the blessing of the German Copyright Act. Libraries and archives in other European countries could ask their governments to legislate likewise.


Greece

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Georgios Glossiotis, KR21’s national coordinator for Greece.

Feb ’24 | KR21’s Open Letter on Research & Higher Education in European Commission Impact Assessments

Thanks to Georgios Glossiotis (KR21’s national coordinator for Greece), the open letter that KR21 co-signed on the need to include research and higher education in European Commission impact assessments featured in an op-ed he published in the Greek newspaper I Avgi/Η Αυγή.

Oct ’23 | A Cry of Anguish From Europe’s Libraries

Georgios Glossiotis (KR21’s national coordinator for Greece) shared our joint call for action on eBooks from library associations across Europe in an op-ed in the Greek daily newspaper I Avgi/Η Αυγή in May 2024.

Check out his contribution in Greek and English.

April ’23 | News article: For Democracy, Libraries and the Right to Knowledge

See this shortened and translated version of an article that Georgios Glossiotis (KR21’s national coordinator for Greece) published on 10 March 2023 in the “η εφημερίδα των συντακτών” newspaper.

Georgios cautions: “Ultimately we are heading toward a luxury model of access to knowledge, which only those who can pay will access. For many, the only way out risks being either to give up, or less legitimate means.”

The original Greek version is accessible here. Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.


Ireland

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Martin Bradley, KR21’s national coordinator for Ireland.

March ’23 | Irish Competition Authority Investigating eBook Markets

The Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is investigating the restrictive licensing of eBooks in libraries, making it the second European competition authority to examine this issue. The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) strongly supports the CCPC’s probe.

This scrutiny comes amid concerns over the access, pricing, and sustainability of eBooks, which are increasingly governed by contracts rather than copyright law. This limits libraries’ ability to lend and preserve these digital resources.

KR21 highlights this as a broader issue, with legal studies underway to explore eBook challenges from copyright and competition perspectives. The situation underscores the need for government intervention to ensure libraries can continue to fulfil their educational and cultural missions amidst rising eBook costs, restrictive terms, and availability issues.


Italy

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Deborah De Angelis, KR21’s national coordinator for Italy.

February ’24 | Survey on the Attitudes & Awareness of the CNR Scientific Community on Secondary Publishing Rights and Authors’ Rights Retention

The Italian Right2Pub project, supported by Knowledge Rights 21, explored the attitudes and awareness of the scientific community of the National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR) regarding these important topics.

The project’s survey represents an initial step towards guiding future interventions and initiatives. It contributes to describing the scientific community’s practices within the project’s scope, addressing its needs and uncertainties.

Check the Italian version of the survey report.


Netherlands

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Maarten Zeinstra, KR21’s national coordinator for the Netherlands.

April ‘24 | Secondary Publishing Rights in the Netherlands

Maarten Zeinstra, KR21’s national coordinator, wrote an in-depth analysis exploring the introduction and parliamentary history of secondary publishing rights (SPRs) in the Netherlands.

This text was authored for the KR21 Right2Pub project that will translate it into Italian for a forthcoming publication.

March ‘24 | University Policies for Rights Retention and Secondary Publishing Rights in the Netherlands

Maarten Zeinstra, KR21’s national coordinator, mapped the adoption of rights retention and secondary publishing rights policies by public universities in the Netherlands through an in-depth survey. His work uncovers the diverse paths taken, challenges faced, and potential avenues for harmonisation. Maarten’s insightful observations are complemented with helpful visualisations. Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Maarten Zeinstra, KR21’s national coordinator, contributed an article to the national Informatieprofessional magazine. In it, he explores a pressing question Dutch universities face: who owns the rights to academic publications or teaching materials – the universities or the academics? 

Maarten notably looks at a report by the Universiteiten van Nederland (UNL) to try to answer this question. 

He further discusses the monopolisation of knowledge and publishers’ exuberant profit margins (to which taxpayers contribute). Maarten shares some strong views on how to rebalance this while emphasising the need to stand united for knowledge rights. Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Nov ’23 | Challenges Faced by Academic Libraries

On the occasion of the start of the academic year, Maarten Zeinstra (KR21’s national coordinator for the Netherlands) wrote about academic libraries’ challenges to ensure access to knowledge in e-books and e-textbooks as publishers exert more and more control in the digital age.

Explore this enlightening article published in the national InformatieProfessional magazine (in Dutch) and share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Nov ’23 | The Cost of Academic Publishing

Journalist Wasima Khan dives for Follow the Money into how the government in the Netherlands pays for ‘free’ scientific research, while big academic publishers make hundreds of millions. For her research she spoke with KR21’s national coordinator Maarten Zeinstra.

Dive into this insightful article and share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Maarten Zeinstra (KR21’s national coordinator for the Netherlands) explains how the Netherlands has not one but two copyright Acts. One that applies to the European Netherlands and is compliant with EU law, and a second act that applies solely to the Caribbean Netherlands, the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius (‘Statia’), and Saba (known collectively as the BES).

KR21 has recommended to the Dutch government to abolish the Act that is specific to this small region of the country and to apply the European Netherlands’ Act to the BES, as the current situation is limiting access to information, knowledge and culture for the inhabitants of this part of the Netherlands.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.


Spain

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Ana Ordás, KR21’s national coordinator for Spain.

Feb ’24 | Controlled Digital Lending

KR21 programme partner FESABID released an English translation of their report on controlled digital lending (CDL), which was prepared by Professor Raquel Xalabarder (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). See KR21’s blog post.

The report’s goal is two-folded:

  • analyse the Spanish legislation for libraries, archives, and museums in the context of international and EU law to see what it already permits; and,
  • set out how to adapt the Spanish legislation to new technologies and market trends to ensure institutions can continue to fulfil their public service mission.

Read the original Spanish version here.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

“For libraries, archives and museums to continue to fulfil their public service role, their activity cannot be left exclusively in the hands of the private sector and of the copyright holders. The legal limitations must continue to establish the necessary balance of interests within the new digital market context.”

Professor Raquel Xalabarder (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Slovenia

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič, KR21’s national coordinator for Slovenia and the Western Balkans region.

Jan ’24 | New Legislative Developments in Support of Open Science – Bulgaria and Slovenia

Watch this webinar that discusses exciting new legislative developments in Bulgaria and Slovenia to support Open Science. Joining the growing number of countries that are adopting laws to ensure access to publicly funded research, the event explores, with the help of our national coordinators Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (Slovenia and Western Balkans region) and Ana Lazarova (Bulgaria), the following themes:

  • How intellectual property barriers to open access are being overcome;
  • How good governmental strategy can promote open science;
  • Provide insights into the Slovenian law, which requires immediate open access and licensing of majority publicly funded  materials based on legal requirements mandating rights retention; and,
  • Examine the new law in Bulgaria, which prevents contracts with publishers from overriding rights retention and the republication of publicly funded articles in open access repositories.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Oct ’23 | 17 October Event: 4th Open Knowledge Day in Slovenia

KR21 supported the 4th Open Knowledge Day in Slovenia in October. This effort was organised by the Institute for Open Data and Intellectual Property (ODIPI), led by Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (KR21’s national and regional coordinator). It brought together experts from across Europe, focussing on (1) the legal basis for data analytics and (2) open science in theory and practice. This event was followed by an in-person special workshop in English for researchers from the KR21 Researchers Network for the Western Balkans.

In the fringes of this event, KR21’s Ben White was interviewed for national radio (Prvi program Radia Slovenija, RTV Slovenija) together with Maja.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Oct ’23 | Exceptions With Teeth: The New Slovenian Text and Data Mining Provisions

Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (KR21’s national and regional coordinator) applauds the new Slovenian text and data mining (TDM) provisions. Read her in-depth analysis on the KR21 blog to understand why:

  • other countries can learn from this progressive approach; and,
  • users need to actively leverage the leeway it provides.

Sweden

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Eric Luth, KR21’s national coordinator for Sweden.

On 19 January 2024, Minister for Justice Gunnar Strömmer received the results of a public inquiry process. This effort could be a positive first step, as several of the proposals in the inquiry report aim to create a better environment for research.

Professor Frantzeska Papadopoulou (IFIM, Stockholms universitet) and Eric Luth (KR21’s national coordinator & Wikimedia Sverige), two of the experts in the inquiry, provide valuable insights into how the proposals laid out in the report can help to tackle obstacles in conducting and disseminating research.

These proposals are just the beginning. A consultation is up next, offering stakeholders the opportunity to share their perspectives.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Jan ’24 | New Open Science Guidelines

On 15 January 2024, Sweden finally published its new national Open Science guidelines. Eric Luth (KR21’s national coordinator) shared some key takeaways and his assessment of this effort.

Spoiler: All publicly funded scientific publications must be made public immediately under free licenses. This should be completely free for both readers and writers, and the costs for funders need to decrease over time.

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.


UK

Looking for more insights? Reach out to Ben White, KR21’s co-founder and national coordinator for the UK.

Nov ’23 | Knowledge Rights 21 Co-signs Public Statement Calling on the UK Government to Safeguard AI Innovation

KR21 and the other statement signatories encourage the UK to introduce a code of practice supportive of AI innovation while making it a safe place to do AI.

The signatories believe that “in order to support and incentivise researchers and innovators, the UK is best served by a balanced copyright system.”

Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter/X.

Feb ’23 | Open Science & AI: A UK Policy Discussion

In association with CILIP, the library and information association and RLUK, Research Libraries UK, KR21 organised a one-day conference in London to discuss the latest policy developments around Open Science, AI, and broader issues of long-term sustainable access to digital knowledge and what is needed to take things further.