EU Commissioner Hails Open Knowledge, Urges Copyright Reform 17/07/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, today hailed open knowledge in government, science, the internet, and education, and called again for “urgent reform” of copyright. In a speech to the Open Knowledge Foundation in Berlin, Kroes said openness and sharing of ideas is essential to the economy and innovation. Kroes is in office until 31 October, as the European Commission is undergoing its five-year transition. In particular, Kroes suggested that copyright needs to be reformed to ensure it does not interfere with access to knowledge in education. On the surface, this might appear inconsistent with views taken by the EU in negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization, where it has shown steadfast resistance to strengthening limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives (IPW, WIPO, 5 May 2014). But in the WIPO committee, discussions on exceptions for education are separate. “It’s a crime when teachers are prevented from freely sharing open educational resources,” Kroes said in prepared remark. “There’s so much we can achieve by making every classroom digital. Education that is not off the peg: but made to measure, for every child. That is what we want to achieve through open education.” “That shows how copyright rules need to change: but it’s just one example,” she said. “Those rules were designed for a different age, more about limitation and control than creativity and freedom. Holding back ideas from open education to data mining: copyright needs urgent reform.” She also insisted that public information from any EU government must be publicly available to citizens “without complex licensing restrictions” or high costs. EU member states have one more year to pass laws on the right to reuse public information, she said. On open science, Kroes said the Horizon 2020 research and development campaign “will offer 80 billion euros for research and innovation. Our biggest ever investment. And every resulting publication will be openly and freely available.” But she noted that national level research is up to national governments’ discretion. She encouraged participation in an EU consultation called ‘Science in Transition‘, which is open until the end of September. On open internet, she said the Commission has proposed new rules protecting net neutrality, which she said she hopes national governments will make a priority. And she gave encouragement to open source, noting that her own website runs on it. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."EU Commissioner Hails Open Knowledge, Urges Copyright Reform" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.