Vox Scientia is strong – but the current copyright reform will block the free circulation of knowledge

The ongoing and neverending EU copyright reform is often depicted in the way that the main issues are money, value distribution, and how to protect existing business models. These are of course valid concerns, but they shape the whole discussion in very narrowly-framed way. The most important question is how copyright reform will influence various groups of stakeholders, not only when it comes to businesses that want to make money, but also for the individuals and organisations that both need access to information and content, and who also wish to create and share.  And when it comes to science and knowledge sharing (not only in academia, but generally innovation) the answer is very clear – the proposal presented by the European Commission will block the free circulation of knowledge.

Vox Scientia is a group of organisations (including Communia) and individual educators, researchers, librarians, cultural heritage professionals, and students who are standing up and aiming to be the ‘Voice of Knowledge’ – ‘Vox scientia’ – in this debate. The parties engaged believe in a world where all people are able to freely exchange ideas, create, learn, and contribute to the global knowledge commons. The aim of the initiative is to mobilize people to stand up against dangerous and restrictive copyright  solutions backed by the European Commision.

How will copyright reform influence the sharing of knowledge? The reasons are countless,, but let us just name a few. Imagine a world where platforms have to monitor all user generated content to look for content protected by copyright. Such a solution is not only  a clear breach of existing EU laws (including the Charter of Fundamental Rights) but also will result in limiting the knowledge we have access to online. Or let’s assume that you conduct research on some complicated issue, but copyright requires that the content that is mined using TDM to extract facts and data is then immediately destroyed. This is counter-intuitive from a research or investigative perspective. Being able to show which sources were used is what builds up the trustworthiness of the acquired knowledge from mining, provides evidence for one’s findings in case of dispute, and allows colleagues to mine the same data in order to see if similar results emerge.

Do you want to voice your concerns and take part in the campaign?  We are inviting individuals and organisations to support the campaign in a number of ways.

  • Show your endorsement by adding your logo to the website: add your voice to the conversation around the campaign. Our message will be stronger if our voices are united.
  • Speak out against an unbalanced copyright that benefits the few to the detriment of the future of knowledge: send us a quote or a story and a photo to be posted online in our #KnowledgeNetwork.
  • Share our content in your social channels: we will make videos, infographics, gifs and memes communicating the implications of restrictive filters. You can help us amplify our message.
  • Become a spokesperson of the campaign: be an advocate of knowledge by participating in interviews and events, and actively spreading our campaign message.


A satire on the art business in which art experts and dealers who assess paintings are depicted as donkeys. After the drawing by Trémolières in the Hessisches Landes Museum in Darmstadt (cropped).
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