European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced on 21 April 2010 that the Commission will entrust three personalities - Maurice Lévy (CEO of Publicis), Elisabeth Niggemann (Head of the German National Library) and Jacques De Decker (writer) - to come up with recommendations on how to speed up the digitisation, online accessibility and preservation of cultural works across Europe. This Reflection Group will examine ongoing initiatives involving both public and private partners (e.g. the Google Books project) and copyright issues to find ways to boost digitisation efforts. The Commission hopes, inter alia, that these recommendations will contribute to Europeana, Europe's digital library.
The Group, requested to submit its conclusions before the end of the year, has been invited to provide a set of recommendations for the digitisation, online accessibility and preservation of Europe's cultural heritage. It will look at how to fund digitisation and address copyright issues as well as licensing practices to facilitate the digitisation of copyrighted material, in particular out-of-print works and orphan works. The Commission's press release is available here.