I read that the EU copyright reform changes the rights regarding books that are no longer sold. It should become possible to publish them for non-commercial use (probably under conditions).

Is this correct? What are the prerequisites to do this?

1 Answer 1


The closest thing to what you're describing is the new rights granted to cultural heritage institutions described in Articles 8-11 of the new Copyright Directive (draft Articles 7-9). Note this doesn't apply to individuals, just cultural heritage institutions, which is defined by Article 2(3):

‘cultural heritage institution’ means a publicly accessible library or museum, an archive or a film or audio heritage institution;

I won't quote the articles in full since it's over 1000 words, but the main points are:

  • Under Article 8(1), collective rights management organizations may independently issue a non-exclusive, non-commercial licence to a cultural heritage institution for out-of-commerce works. By Article 9(1), the licence may apply within EU territory.
  • Under Article 8(2) and (3), where no appropriate collective rights management organization exists, the cultural heritage institution does not need a licence for out-of-commerce works. By Article 9(2) this only applies within the Member State concerned.
  • Under Article 8(4), the rightholder for the out-of-commerce work has a unilateral right to deny usage of their work at any time.
  • In all cases, the work must already be within the collection of the cultural heritage institution.

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