EC brokers agreement on 'out of commerce' works

Memorandum of Understanding aims to ensure availability of books and journals

The European Commission has brokered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to ensure the continued availability of 'out of commerce' books and journals.

The MoU came about after eight months of discussions involving European authors, publishers, libraries and collective management organisations.  Signatories include the European Writers' Council (EWC); the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP).

Although more 'out of commerce' works are being made available through developments such as e-books and print on demand, there are many works which are no longer commercially viable for publishers to maintain but which are in the collections of Europe's libraries and archives.  The MoU should help libraries and cultural institutions negotiate and acquire the licenses that will enable them to digitise the parts of their archives that are now out of commerce.

More information available from the EC.