In September 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services (Michel Barnier), which set out the principles on the digitisation and making available of out-of-commerce (OOC) works, by publicly accessible libraries and similar institutions in the EU.
The principles recommend that potential users of such out-of-commerce works essentially adhere to an Extended Collective Licensing Scheme, which involves rights holder Collective Management Organisations granting specific licences for the use of such works, following appropriate diligent search for in-commerce formats, and consultation and agreement with the relevant rights holder groups.
The International Association of STM Publishers (STM), the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and The Association of Learned and Professional Scholarly Publishers (ALPSP) have released a safe harbour provisions statement regarding the use of OOC works under the MoU.
The safe harbour provision provides additional clarity and certainty for users who participate in digitisation and reuse of works under such schemes in EU member states.
The full MOU and Key Principles are available to download. Read the Safe Harbour provisions from STM, AAP/PSP and ALPSP statement here.
A number of publishers have already signed up to the safe harbour provisions. If you wish to do so, please contact Kim Beadle at STM (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that this is not solely for those who publish in the area of STM, but open to all scholarly publishers.