Press Conference (archived)

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“The Right to e-Read”, Brussels & The Hague, 23 April 2014

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On 23 April 2014, EBLIDA, the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations will hold a press conference on the occasion of the United Nations’ World Book and Copyright Day to promote the EBLIDA Campaign The Right to e-Read”



The first Press conference will take place at the European Parliament Library in Brussels from 11.00 to 12.00.

Host: MEP Luigi Berlinguer (S&D, IT) with the participation of
Klaus-Peter Böttger, EBLIDA President and
Vincent Bonnet, EBLIDA Director


The Hague

The second conference with press will take place in The Hague from 17.30 to 18.30.



Press Conference 23 April 2014, Photo Album on Flickr.

Host: Netherlands Public Library Association (VOB), Ap de Vries, VOB Director welcoming
MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL) with the participation of
Klaus-Peter Böttger, EBLIDA President,
Vincent Bonnet, EBLIDA Director,
Erna Winters, Member of EBLIDA EC and
Marian Koren, Member of EBLIDA EGCIS,
Kars Veling, VOB President,
Prof. Dirk Visser (copyright expert) andv Hans van Velzen, director Public Library Amsterdam (OBA).

During that same week, EBLIDA members will organise events and press conferences in their respective countries throughout the European Union.

The Right to e-Read Campaign

‘The Right to e-Read’ is a Europe-wide campaign that aims to raise awareness among the general public, librarians and policy makers about the difficulties currently faced by libraries with regard to access to e-books and digital content. The campaign also raises awareness about the need for change of the copyright framework.

Libraries want:

  • to allow all citizens – not just those who can afford it – to benefit from free access to e-books in libraries;
  • to provide library users with the latest e-books as they do with printed books;
  • to buy e-books at fair prices and on reasonable terms;
  • authors to receive fair remuneration for the lending of e-books to the public.


For that to happen, the petition for the EBLIDA Campaign “The Right to e-Read”, will officially be launched on the 23rd of April, and from that date it can be signed at:

The petition will be made progressively accessible in each of the official EU languages.

Why is this important?

Almost 100 Million Europeans (20% of the population) have used a library in the past 12 months and libraries play a vital role in building literacy skills and providing access to information and reading to build a knowledgeable, informed and connected society.

The fact that many e-books are not accessible through libraries means that this source of information, knowledge and ideas is cut off from families, communities and businesses.

Libraries should be able to lend e-books as they do printed books.

Why don’t libraries have the right to lend the e-books they want?

Current European Copyright Law means that libraries can be hindered from lending e-books to their users. European libraries have actually experienced instances of some publishers:

  • refusing to include certain titles of e-books,
  • removing certain titles from the subscription packages,
  • prescribing the terms for access.

This is a direct challenge to the core activities and responsibilities of libraries.

Citizens, stand-up for your “Right to e-Read!


  • your choice of e-books available for borrowing is severely limited;
  • your library’s acquisition policy may be decided by outsiders and not by your local librarians;
  • your rights as library user have decreased.

To change this we need citizens to join the EBLIDA Campaign for “The Right to e-Read”. You can support the campaign by signing the petition at

Meanwhile, before the European elections take place, you should ask candidates for the European election and future MEPs to take action in their next term.

Ask your candidates for the European election and future MEPs to help!

Current European copyright law is outdated. Copyright is a critical issue for the whole of society. It addresses fundamental questions about democracy, access to information and completion of a true knowledge society, as well as strong economic interests, jobs and challenges for Europe to remain the biggest content producer globally.

To match these challenges MEPs should support reinstating a true balance of rights between the exclusive rights of the rights holders and other fundamental rights.

Legalising libraries’ lending of e-books would be a first step towards broader copyright reform.

In the context of the European elections, ask the candidates to support “The Right to e-Read” Campaign by:

Signing the campaign petition;

Promising to engage in negotiations on this issue in the next European term;

Meeting with library organisations.

By engaging with libraries, they will help EU citizens to benefit from access to the riches of human knowledge and imagination whether in the library, offsite or online, thereby helping to creating a true knowledge society.


What is EBLIDA doing?

EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information & Documentation Associations) started up “The Right to e-Read” Campaign to raise awareness on this core issue.

EBLIDA is monitoring e-book pilots currently underway assessing the effectiveness of various licensing models in different countries in Europe.

However EBLIDA believes that libraries must have a statutory right to lend e-books and that this should form part of a revised European copyright framework, currently being consulted on by the EU.

Find out more about the campaign at:

Questions? Contact us at:



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