Upcoming webinar (21 April): Flexible Copyright Exceptions II – What can we in Europe learn from the US?

This second of our webinars on open norms brings together legal practitioners from the United States and will focus on “Fair Use” – an open principle-based copyright exception. The webinar aims to understand how fair use supports education, research and technological advancement in ways the inflexible European copyright systems cannot. Join us on 21 April 2023, 16:00-17:30 CET REGISTER HERE

Photo: Duncan Cumming, CC-BY-NC: https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/25640557870/in/photolist-F4LyxY-o1GQar-28AQGzx-STeXCL-8hFHWd-8Eqc6w-8En2hZ-8Eqbud-8PtBw4-8PwFAL-nYEk1S-a7cGRp-9SS12E-67ao45-67anUf-74XLSp-r5c6Kv-2bvXNRH-hoAtp-8VBTUM-ceMVLA-28HRDF8-2hfD6Xo-enbt9P-V1oJJx-5TRUxX-2bvXNUZ-e2AaVR-e2rxvW-o3pQx5-67anK3-rMD9RV-8mxeRr-bkQHAq-9fauah-9favPq-rmyaVj-9fatVq-8EuhkU-9fatxJ-9f7nGn-pvZ6DC-9fatT3-gJDWW2-9f7kZ2-9favD9-6Va8Jy-9fatZh-9fatgy-9favJJ

Copyright limitations and exceptions play a defining role in supporting innovation and scientific progress. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches: One is to set broad principles which can be applied by users (and courts if necessary) in existing as well as new situations. The other is to define exceptions narrowly, as is often the case in Europe, only allowing users to undertake specific pre-defined tasks. 

Such an inflexible approach to law making in Europe brings with it significant innovation, research and education penalties. It is a matter of fact that copyright lawmaking cannot keep up with the pace of technological change, and therefore a lack of flexibility acts to chill technological  and scientific progress.

Given Europe’s heritage, what scope is there to return to a more flexible, pro-innovation model today, and what lessons can we learn from elsewhere?

This webinar will look at the US open norm, known as “fair use”. Introduced in 1976 to reflect pre-existing case law. It has been characterised as doing much of the heavy lifting in law to support the success of the US technology industry. It also serves to facilitate many important functions undertaken by US universities.


Sara R  Benson JD, LLM, MSLIS, is the copyright librarian and an associate professor at the University of Illinois Library. She also holds appointments with the School of Information Sciences, the European Union Center, and the Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois.

Melissa Levine is the Director of the University of Michigan Library’s Copyright Office and teaches broadly on IP matters, including the University of Michigan School of Information faculty (Intellectual Property and Information Law) and for Johns Hopkins’ masters in Museum Studies (Museums, Law, and Policy). She is an appointee to the Library of Congress’ IT Modernisation Committee for the US Copyright Office, serves in the International Federation of Libraries Association (IFLA) Advisory Committee on Copyright and Related Matters, and participates in the Fulbright Specialist program for international exchange. 

Derek Slater is a Founding Partner at Proteus Strategies, a tech policy strategy and advocacy consulting firm. Previously, he helped build Google’s public policy team from 2007-2022, serving as the Global Director of Information Policy during the last three years. He led a global team of subject matter experts on access to information, content regulation, and online safety, and testified before legislators in the US, UK, and elsewhere around the globe. Before his time at Google, Derek was the Activism Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the first student fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.


Stephen Wyber – Director of Policy and Advocacy, International Federation of Library Associations

In addition to presentations from practitioners, there will be an opportunity for Q&A so you can get answers to your own queries and concerns.

TIME: 21 April 2023, 16:00-17:30 CEST / 15:00-16:30 UK, Ireland, Portugal