European Commission copyright consultation/Research

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Teaching European Commission copyright consultation

The European Commission is considering modernizing European copyright laws. To get feedback and input on this modernization, the Commission has published a series of questions, and is looking to interested stakeholders (like our community) to answer them. This is a vital opportunity to participate in a dialogue that could have a major impact on copyright laws and the future of the free knowledge movement. More background is available from the European Commission.

We would like to prepare a draft response here, as a collaborative experiment. If we wish to respond, it will need to be finalized before the end of January 2014 (see the proposed timeline).

Welcome to the discussion! Please help by answering the questions below.


Directive 2001/29/EC[1] enables Member States to choose whether to implement in their national laws a limitation for the purpose of non-commercial scientific research. The open formulation of this (optional) provision allows for rather different implementations at Member States level.

Question 47[edit]

47) (a) [In particular if you are an end user/consumer or an institutional user:] Have you experienced specific problems when trying to use works or other subject matter in the context of research projects/activities, including across borders?

(b) [In particular if you are a right holder:] Have you experienced specific problems resulting from the way in which works or other subject-matter are used in the context of research projects/activities, including across borders?


  • Your name here


  • Your name here

No opinion[edit]

  • Your name here


Instructions: If yes, please explain.

  • ...

Proposed Foundation answer[edit]

Based on the Creativity4Copyright suggestions, I propose the following answer for the official Foundation response: —LVilla (WMF) (talk) 02:45, 31 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The use of materials for research is of broad interest to our users and our organization, given that an important goal of Wikipedia is to provide knowledge which references and cites to the best, most current research on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, our users face a variety of problems with accessing and using scientific materials. These problems are primarily practical, rather than legal in nature. The existing exception allows for their use for research purposes, but other barriers - like restrictive licenses, DRM, and publication only in hard copy - deliberately go beyond the existing exception, intentionally making it difficult to access and disseminate this knowledge even when it should be permitted by existing laws. This is particularly frustrating because so much scientific research is funded by the public, and should be available for our users - i.e., members of the public! - to learn and create new educational works from.

Question 48[edit]

48) If there are problems, how would they best be solved?


[Open question]

  • Reproduction and modification of works for scientific purposes should be free. --NaBUru38 (talk) 14:36, 11 January 2014 (UTC), I agree Dominikmatus (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • ...

Proposed Foundation answer[edit]

Based on the comments above and the Creativity4Copyright suggestions, I propose the following answer for the official Foundation response: —LVilla (WMF) (talk) 02:51, 31 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All research financed, in whole or in part, by public funding should be available through true open access licenses, for all commercial and non-commercial uses. Research produced directly by governments and their agencies should be exempted from copyright altogether. Licensing or technical restrictions, such as those in DRM, that seek to circumvent the existing copyright exception and prohibit members of the public from exercising their rights under the exception should also be prohibited.

Question 49[edit]

49) What mechanisms exist in the Member States to facilitate the use of content for research purposes? How successful are they?


[Open question]

  • ...

Proposed Foundation answer[edit]

Based on the lack of comments, either above or by the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, I propose not answering this question. —LVilla (WMF) (talk) 02:55, 31 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Next set of questions >>


  1. Article 5(3)a of Directive 2001/29.