On April 5, through a joint statement, COAR joined several other European organizations to call for an exclusion for not-for-profit repositories, digital archives, and libraries from the obligations of the Digital Services Act (DSA).
The Digital Services Act aims to regulate social media and other content sharing platforms and provide a legal instrument that can address the spread of illegal content and misinformation. Unfortunately there is a risk that this legislation will also be applied to repositories and other research and education infrastructures.
“The education and research sector relies on thousands of repositories, digital archives, and libraries to ensure access to up-to-date results and knowledge. The progress and effectiveness of the education and scientific research sectors depend on legislative frameworks that foster scientific advancement and the dissemination of knowledge. Not-for-profit educational and scientific repositories, digital archives, and libraries are instrumental in this context.
Not-for-profit scientific and educational repositories, digital archives, and libraries that allow for the upload of content by students, researchers, and third parties – such as in the context of citizen science projects undertaken by universities or libraries – are likely to fall in the scope of the current version of the Digital Services Act. This is in spite of the fact that the legislation is devised for and targeted at commercial platforms. As a result, not-for-profit educational and scientific digital infrastructures would incur additional administrative and financial costs.”