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EU policy/World Book and Copyright Day

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Copyright catalogue from 1931

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

All forms of books make a valuable contribution to education and the dissemination of culture and information. The diversity of books and editorial content is a source of enrichment that we must support through appropriate public policies.

— Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO

About the World Book and Copyright Day[edit]

UNESCO celebrates the World Book and Copyright day to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO : Books are both object and idea.[...] Reading is this private conversation, but books are all about sharing -- sharing experience, knowledge and understanding. This is the wealth we celebrate on World Book and Copyright Day. Books are the most powerful forms of dialogue between individuals, within communities, between generations and with other societies. This unique means of dialogue must be protected. The technology of books is old, but it remains cutting-edge, functional and in some conditions irreplaceable. This does not mean that change is not happening or that we should resist it outright.

Date and Time[edit]

Brussels 24.April.2014
14h00-16h30, followed by a cocktail reception
Registration needed


Flemish Commission for UNESCO (“Open Access and Memory of the World”)
Wikimedia (“The way the world tells its story”)


Cultural Heritage and Mass Digitalisation

Digitalisation project


Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75


In the past decade numerous globally and locally acting, private and public, for and non-for profit organisations have undertaken considerable efforts to make our cultural heritage universally accessible, hoping to unlock its potential for as much of mankind as possible. Projects like UNESCO’s Memory of the World and Wikimedia’s Wikisource are just a few prominent examples.


While technology is becoming more sophisticated and accessible, the very way in which content is stored and distributed in the digital world touches upon century old traditions of authorship, publishing, access and remuneration. How can we ensure a thriving culture of authorship and creativity while at the same time making full use of digital benefits like global availability and reproduction at virtually zero cost? How can we make educational content accessible to all? Which legislative hurdles need to be overcome?

How it relates to current EU affairs?[edit]

The European Commission is currently looking into how to reform copyright

We want to use the World Book and Copyright Day 2014 to invite interested partners to discuss the opportunities and risks that come with these developments, especially keeping in mind the relevant questions posed by the European Commission in its Copyright Consultation (sections “Access to Libraries and Archives” and “Mass Digitalisation”)

Programme and Speakers[edit]

time agenda speakers
13:30 registration
14:00 welcome and short intro Ms Gwen Frank, Open Access Belgium, panel chair
14:10 opening statements and presentation of mass digitization projects Ms Rossitza Atanassova, Digitisation Expert, British National Library
Mr Jean-Frédéric Berthelot, Wikimédia France
Mr Rony Vissers, PACKED VZW, Belgium
15:00 Q&A with audience
15:15 opening statements and presentation of policy on digitasation and copyright Mr Marco Giorello, Deputy Head of Unit Copyright, DG MARKT, European Commission
Mr Krzysztof Nichczyński, Project and Policy Officer, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Ms Anne Bergman-Tahon, Director of the European Federation of Publishers
15:50 Q&A with audience
16:30 - 17:30 cocktail reception