Draft policy on Open Access for data and information

At present, national provisions on copyright and database protection regarding exceptions and limitations for research purposes differ both in detail and substance. Scientists within the EU working with copyright protected works or with protected databases have to be aware that regulations may vary considerably from country to country. This can be a major stumbling block to international collaboration in science.

The document addresses legal issues that hamper an integrative system for managing biodiversity knowledge in Europe. It describes the importance for scientists to have access to documents and data in order to synthesize disparate information and to facilitate data mining (or similar research techniques). It explores some aspects of copyright and database protection that influence access to and re-use of biodiversity data and information and refers to exceptions and limitations of copyright or database protection provided for within the relevant EU Directives.