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PA's PA 11th November 2016

PA's PA 11th November 2016

Welcome to this week’s PA’s PA in a week in which Donald Trump shocked the world after he was elected the next President of the United States, scuppering Hilary Clinton’s hopes of shattering “the highest and hardest glass ceiling”. The once-unimaginable scenario has triggered a wave of demonstrations and a state of uncertainty about whether Trump will deliver on his most extreme policies: to build a wall with Mexico and to ban all Muslims from entering the US. Some in the UK hope that Trump’s victory could boost Britain’s post-Brexit plans, moving it to the top of the list for free trade deals. In the past Trump said he would treat the UK “fantastically” if he became president. However Theresa May had to wait until Trump had spoken to nine other world leaders, including from Mexico, Egypt and Ireland, before she received a call from the president-elect yesterday. Meanwhile Trump’s protectionist rhetoric is weighing heavily on developing markets, with the Mexican peso plunging to another record low today. But despite an initial sell off on election night, the global stock market has since rallied, hitting a record high on Thursday.

In this week’s edition:


CJEU rules on e-lending

The Court of Justice of the European Union held that the definition of lending by public libraries in European copyright law also includes remote electronic lending. This is under the condition that only one copy can be downloaded during a specific lending period and that after the lending period ends the copy must no longer be usable. The ruling means that remote electronic lending will be covered by the library exception, which exempts public libraries from the need to obtain authorisation in order to lend works provided authors are remunerated. Further conditions for the application of this exception are that the book must have been put into circulation by the right holder or with his consent, and that the digital copy used for remote electronic lending must not have been obtained from an illegal source. This is likely to require a change to the Public Lending Right Scheme in the UK which might be implemented via the Digital Economy Bill currently discussed at UK Parliament.  A fuller briefing is available for members by contacting Susie Winter

Impact and EU research funding

The new European research funding programme should have a “more sophisticated approach” to impact, according to Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for research, science and innovation. According to the Times Higher Education, Moedas has said the commission has an obligation to understand and communicate the impact of its work to finance ministers and the general public. However experts are concerned about what direction this could push science and questioned whether the European Research Council will be protected, the THE reports. Mark Reed, professor of social innovation at Newcastle University, said the project could be similar to the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s controversial research excellence framework which he said would be “fairly monumental” to do on an EU wide scale. Peter Strohschneider, president of the German Research Foundation, said Moedas’ comments “takes research as a means of economic growth and innovation.” A commission spokeswoman for research, science and innovation said “improving the impact of EU-funded research and innovation is a very high priority”.

Update on implementation of Marrakesh

The EU has set out an indicative timetable for the European Parliament’s discussions on the draft EU directive on the Marrakesh Treaty. The timetable is as follows:

  • Beginning of December 2016: The report on the draft directive will be ready and sent for translation
  • 7 February 2017: Deadline for MEPs to table amendments
  • 22/23 March 27: Vote on the directive in the Legal Affairs Committee

Following the approval by Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the Parliament will then need to agree on the final text.

Schools face headteacher shortage

Schools in England may face a shortage of 19,000 head teachers and deputies within the next six years due to a rising number of pupils and a large number of heads retiring, education charities have warned. A report by Future Leaders Trust, Teach First and Teaching Leaders says that almost one in four schools across the country could be affected by a lack of headteachers, with many schools already experiencing problems recruiting staff. According to the report, up to £200m is spent by schools recruiting each year, but over 30% of adverts for headteacher positions in 2015 received no applications. Among other things, the report recommends expanding the pool of candidates for executive roles to non-teachers.

Primary school test agency criticised by government

The government agency that sets primary schools tests in England has been “poor value for money” and not focussed enough on the needs of its customers, a government review has found. The review into the Standards Testing Agency was ordered after two security breaches involving primary tests. One breach forced the government to cancel its new spelling and grammar test after it was accidentally published online. The report also found that staff were operating under “significant pressure” at the agency and said staff feel “bruised by recent events and morale is low”. Claire Burton, the Chief Executive of the STA, accepted the government’s critique, and said the agency was “already working to address” the cultural factors which led to the breaches. She said “The report found that the agency was broadly fit for purpose and has a number of strengths, but it also highlighted some important areas for improvement, which I fully accept.” The agency said it had already strengthened the capacity of its senior leadership and management team and would continue to address the issues identified in the review.

Authors protest library closures              

Authors and librarians joined a demonstration to protest against cuts to library services last Saturday, following a string of closures over the last five years. The Guardian reports that children’s laureate Chris Riddell and the former children’s laureate Michael Rosen were among those who marched from the British Library to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Riddell said the threat to libraries amounted to a “tragedy for the literary culture of our country”. Rosen said it was “hypocritical” of the government to claim to be on the side of the disadvantaged while kicking away the means by which “people can get access to knowledge, wisdom, fun and communal life”. He said: “What the government is saying is that the poor don’t have the right to have knowledge and wisdom”. A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Libraries are important to communities not only as places to borrow books, but as spaces where people can access a wide variety of information and services. That’s why local authorities will have almost £200bn to spend on local services, including libraries, over the lifetime of this parliament.”

IPO monitors CRM Directive

The Intellectual Property Office is liaising with stakeholders to monitor the impact of the implementation of the CRM directive, to see whether the directive is fulfilling its purpose to improve accountability, transparency and ensure good governance for the benefit of right holders. The PA will continue to liaise with the IPO on this.  

This week we have:

Met with the RNIB; attended the relaunch of copyright enforcement organisation, FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft); discussed marketing and communications with partners from the Creative Industries Council; met with the creative industries export strategy team at the Department for International Trade; discussed the implications of the Dutch elending case with FEP colleagues;

Next week we will be:

Attending a joint meeting of the APPGs for Publishing and Literacy for the launch of the Read On Get On strategy; attending, as an observer, the RCUK Open Access Practitioners Group; going to the Creative Industries Council Autumn reception in the House of Commons; meeting with content industry colleagues at the Alliance for IP Board meeting; meeting with the Department for International Trade; attending an Alliance for IP roundtable with Vicky Ford MEP, Michael Edenborough QC and Ada Igboemeka, who is taking the lead on IP at the Department for International Trade; going to the launch of the BBC’s Terrific Scientific initiative; promoting the range of career opportunities available in publishing as part of our #workinpublishing week; attending the PA and London Book Fair’s Building Inclusivity in Publishing conference.