The official representative for European libraries in Brussels warned this week that a draft European Commission directive on copyright could lead to a "nightmare future in which nothing can be looked at, read, used or copied without permission or additional payment".
The European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Association also says the directive will harm the competitiveness of EU member states as they develop new information products and services, especially multimedia products.
The body represents 95,000 public, corporate and academic European libraries.
The EC draft directive before parliament and the Council of Ministers is aimed at harmonising copyright laws across the union. The directive also seeks to update copyright laws to accommodate digital technologies.