In the brief below an explanation is given why Exceptions in copyright legislation are of great importance to the free flow of knowledge, essential to education and research in the European Union.
At present the Freedom of access to knowledge for EU citizens is trapped in a complex web of national laws and local licensing arrangements. The current EU copyright law does not enable the vision of either a "Europe of knowledge" in the Bologna Process or of a "unified" European Research Area to be realised. To address this Exceptions and limitations harmonised to fit best practice are required to allow content to move digitally across Member States in support of education, research and libraries. Support for open content licensing by the European Parliament will strengthen authors' rights, meet the needs of researchers, teachers and learners, and enable the free flow of knowledge in support of the "fifth freedom".