Support for educational and scientific exemptions from the Digital Services Act

Our association supports the sector-wide call for the exclusion of not-for-profit repositories, digital archives, and libraries from the obligations of the Digital Services Act (DSA).
5th April 2022
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The strong and united voice of universities of science and technology has co-signed a statement calling for the exemption of not-for-profit repositories, digital archives, and libraries from the obligations of the DSA.

Such bodies are likely to fall under the scope of new legislation devised for and targeted at commercial platforms (e.g., ‘big tech’), thereby risking the ability of the educational and research sector to ensure up-to-date results and knowledge and ultimately harming the ability of these sectors to deliver scientific progress.

The negotiation position adopted by the European Parliament provides a procedure to exempt not-for-profit repositories from the obligations imposed on online platforms. However, it is overly long and complex, and will result in administrative and financial burdens that not-for-profit scientific and educational repositories, digital archives, and libraries will not be able to meet.

Moreover, the definition and assessment of the criteria for this procedure would be mostly left to member states and digital services coordinators, which could result in legal uncertainty and fragmentation between member states.

Deputy Secretary General, Mattias Björnmalm, said:

“The version of the DSA currently being negotiated would create a range of problems for universities. That is why the community is joining forces and urging for the inclusion of an exemption, as described in our joint statement.”

“We urge the European institutions to ensure that the crucial role of academia necessary scientific progress are not merely reduced to ‘collateral damage’ in a skirmish with commercial platforms."

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