Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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The copyright act for the knowledge based society

The law on the alignment of copyright to the current requirements of the knowledge society (UrhWissG) came into effect on 1st March 2018 and is valid for five years. After foru years, the law will be evaluated.

What do library patrons need to know?

making copies

Copyright protection for works (including books and sheet music) is limited in time and expires 70 years after the author's death. The period begins with the end of the year of death. (Essential) processing of works is also protected by copyright.

After the protection period has expired, the works are in the public domain and may be used in any way (e.g. publicly reproduced) without the consent of the rights holder.

Duplication of up to 75% is permitted for own scientific research in the case of works protected by copyright. In deviation from this regulation, works of small size (written works up to 25 pages, music up to 6 pages, illustrations) as well as individual articles from trade and scientific journals may be copied. Duplication of articles from daily newspapers and popular magazines is not permitted. Out-of-print works may be copied completely regardless of their type and extent.

Music sheets may only be copied for private and other personal use (e.g.  for making music) without the consent of the author/rights holder if the work has been out of print for at least 2 years or if copying is done by writing/typing.

note on interlibrary loan

For interlibrary loan, the previous volume for the delivery of partial copes from books was reduced from 15% to 10% of a work.

Whole articles may continue to be delivered from journals, regardless of the number of pages. Please note that according to the German Loan Traffic Act, copy deliveries over 20 pages involve additional costs.

The delivery of articles from newspapers and so-called popular magazines is no longer permitted. In the case of newspaper articles, the libraries check the shipping of entire volumes or microforms, but it cannot be assumed that the order will be fulfilled. Publishers are asked to submit a list of titles for the classification of popular magazines. This is still pending.

The previous restriction on the delivery of copies by post and fax is no longer applicable, making it possible to send them by e-mail. This can also be done directly to the customer. Please not that this option is not yet implemented in the K10plus. We ask for your understanding.

A prerequisite for interlibrary loan order is the use for non-commercial purposes. You must confirm this when ordering. Otherwise the order form cannot be sent.

What do lecturers/researchers need to know?

digital semester apparatus

The provision of digital semester apparatus is still permitted (for writings newly regulated in §§60a and c). The provision must be password protected for a limited number of participants in a course or for a research project.

The provision of 15% of a work (previously: 12% for teching, 25% for research) is permitted. Out-of-print works may be made fully available. The provision of entire articles from trade journals, single illustrations and small-scale works is also permitted. The provision of articles from newspapers and popular magazines is NOT permitted.

What else can be put in the digital semester apparatus:

  • content the rights holder provides under an open license (Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Creative Commons license). The respective license terms must be observed.
  • self-made materials. These include e.g. scripts, presentations and exercises. This does not apply if exclusive usage rights have already been transferred to a third party (e.g. publisher).
  • it would also be possible to link written works for which the university and state library Saxony-Anhalt has a license
  • the duplication, distribution and public representation of a published work for the purpose of the quotation is also permitted by §51 UrhG. The quotation must serve as a basis for discussion of the citing person's own statements. The source and author must be specified.
  • it is always possible to use a public domain work whose author has been dead for more than 70 years.
  • official works according to §5 l UrhG generally have no copyright protection. These include laws, authority orders and court decisions.
  • if none of these options can be considered, the last opportunity would be to make the paper available to the students for making a private copy in accordance with §53 UrhG. Please not that it is not possible to provide copy templates in the semester apparatus of the branch libraries for copyright reasons

Compensation must be paid to the collecting societies for the provision. This will have to be paid as a standard fee, there will be no individual reporting obligation.

For information on setting up a digital semester apparatus, please contact @LLZ.

text and data mining

Researchers have the right to automatically read, save and evaluate databases, journals and other works protected by copyright, to which there is legal access (= license of the library) not only article by article, but also across the board. The data can come from various sources, e.g. from different publishers.

After completing the research project, the researchers have to delete this locally stored data. In order to enable later verification, the data can be handed over to the university and state library (or other libraries or archives). These educational institutions are exclusively authorized to permanently store the data.

In this case, please contact our Open Science Team: