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STM signs Out of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

20 September 2011

STM Association signs Out of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding

Michael Mabe today signed the Out of Commerce Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) in Brussels, enabled through a dialogue with
libraries facilitated by the European Commission (EC). The MoU
recognises that the right to authorise the use of an Out of
Commerce work is vested in the copyright holder (authors and
publishers) and that voluntary solutions involving collective
management are the way forward.=A0=A0

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Michel Barnier, EC
Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. Representatives of
libraries, publishers, authors, creators and representatives of
authors, publishers and collective management organisations for
text and image based works also signed the MoU today. Mabe, CEO
of the International Association of Scientific, Technical &
Medical Publishers (STM) signed the MoU on behalf of STM's

Commenting on the MoU, Mabe said, "For the book and journal
sector, as well as for the library sector, the MoU is a milestone
in co-operation: it achieves a fine balance of protecting the
economically useful life of an in-copyright work, without
insisting that access be unduly retarded in all cases for the
full term of copyright."

The MoU envisages crossborder EU-wide copyright clearance and
access rules. Reproduction Rights Organisations, represented by
The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations
(IFFRO), can clear rights EU-wide for both mandating rightholders
and for obscure rightsholders of infrequently used materials. The
MoU is limited to books and journals (and embedded materials)and
does not cover newspapers or audio-visual materials.

The European Bureau of Library Information, Documentation
Association (EBLIDA), the Association of European Research
Libraries (LIBER) and the Conference of European National
Libraries are co-signatories of the MoU, with the International
Federation of Libraries and Archives (IFLA) supporting the MoU
for their European members.

The European Writers Council (EWC), the European Federation of
Journalists (EFJ) and the European Visual Artists (EVA) for the
authors and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), the
European Publishers' Council (EPC) and the International
Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM)
for the publishers acknowledged the MoU as important step in the
digitisation and making available to the public of Europe's
cultural heritage.

"This is an excellent example of what can be achieved through
collaborative efforts," continued Mabe. STM has actively
participated in efforts to bring the MoU to fruition.

Respect for the authors' moral rights is particularly important
in the case of Out of Commerce works. There may be a variety of
reasons for not making a work available to the public and it is
their right to determine whether or how this should be done.

The authors, publishers and collective management organisations
who are signatories to the MoU will do their utmost to make sure
that the process respects the principles of the MoU and is as
smooth and efficient as possible.

- ENDS -

STM is the leading global trade association for academic and
professional publishers. It has over 110 members in 21 countries
who each year collectively publish nearly 66% of all journal
articles and tens of thousands of monographs and reference works.
STM members include learned societies, university presses,
private companies, new starts and established players.

For more information, visit: http://www.stm-assoc.org.

Contact: Kim Beadle, STM, beadle@stm-assoc.org or
phone +44 1865 339323