On 21 March, ETUCE sent its Statement on Copyright in the Digital Single Market to the European Parliament expressing its views on the proposed European Commission Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The proposal aims at modernising EU copyright rules in order to adapt them to the new digital technologies and contains important exceptions from copyright protection for digital materials used in education, research and cultural heritage.

In its statement, ETUCE reminds that education is a public good and calls on European institutions to promote social dialogue and collective agreements in the education sector introducing social partners as main actors in negotiations on national copyright regulations in education. Moreover, ETUCE notes that the possibility to use digital materials for learning requires sufficient public investment in an adequate infrastructure and up-to-date digital equipment in schools, as well as teachers’ and researchers’ initial and continuous professional development.

ETUCE points out that a new Directive needs to address the rights of creators and the rights of users in a balanced way and demands to include in the Directive appropriate safeguards for fair remuneration and correct attribution of work to teachers and researchers regardless of their academic status.

ETUCE also informs its member organisations about a new campaign rightcopyright.eu launched on 29 March by the COMMUNIA International Association, a network of activists and researchers from universities, NGOs and SME. The campaign website collects petitions of educators throughout Europe asking the European Parliament to create better copyright laws for education that would fit the needs of teachers in the 21st century. The campaign is part of COMMUNIA’s project Copyright for Education which also includes a research on modern educational practices with relation to copyright.

The report of the European Parliament on the Directive on Copyright will be voted in plenary in June 2017. ETUCE calls on its member organisations to lobby MEPs in support of the ETUCE statement. The ETUCE Secretariat continues to monitor further developments in this field and informs about the outcome of the vote.