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News :: Press pack - Europe's Digital Library Europeana doubles in size

Europe's Digital Library doubles in size but also shows EU's lack of common web copyright solution

(28/08/2009) 4.6 million digitised books, maps, photographs, film clips and newspapers can now be accessed by internet users on Europeana, Europe's multilingual digital library (www.europeana.eu). The collection of Europeana has more than doubled since it was launched in November 2008 (IP/08/1747). Today the European Commission, in a policy document declared as its target to bring the number of digitised objects to 10 million by 2010. The Commission also opened a public debate on the future challenges for book digitisation in Europe: the potential of the public and private sector to team up and the need to reform Europe's too fragmented copyright framework.

"The digitisation of books is a Herculean task but also opens up cultural content to millions of citizens in Europe and beyond. This is why I welcome first efforts made by Member States and their cultural institutions to fill the shelves of Europe's digital library,” said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "However, I find it alarming that only 5% of all digitised books in the EU are available on Europeana. I also note that almost half of Europeana's digitised works have come from one country alone, while all other Member States continue to under-perform dramatically. To me this shows, above all, that Member States must stop envying progress made in other continents and finally do their own homework. It also shows that Europeana alone will not suffice to put Europe on the digital map of the world. We need to work better together to make Europe's copyright framework fit for the digital age."

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