Copyright in media-supported teaching

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Source: Pixabay// Bereich Lehre und Medien

The Act to Align Copyright Law with the Current Demands of the Knowledge-based Society (Urheberrechts-​Wissensgesellschafts-Gesetz – UrhWissG) has been in force since 1 March 2018 and includes amendments to the German Copyright Act (UrhG). The amended provisions on the use of protected works or parts of works are intended to simplify their use in teaching and research on the one hand, but also to take account of the interests of publishers and rights holders on the other.

In addition to the most relevant provisions for the use of protected works in teaching in Sections 60a-f UrhG (the so-called statutory exceptions to copyright), there are also provisions on licence agreements and remuneration in Sections 60 g-h UrhG as well as provisions on the prohibition of amendments and on the indication of sources in Sections 62-63 UrhG.

The most important regulations for teaching and research are briefly presented below. They apply under the general condition that the works used have already been published by a publishing house or otherwise on the Internet (exceptions see below) and that no commercial purposes are pursued.

Paragraphen-Symbol
Source: Pixabay// Bereich Lehre und Medien

The use of protected works in teaching and learning (Section 60 UrhG)

"What materials may be made available electronically in university teaching?" 

(A brief overview in German; E-Learning AG, TU Darmstadt)

PERMITTED ...

Scope of use

"Free" usage

NOT PERMITTED ...

Scientific research (Section 60c UrhG)

With regard to scientific research, the UrhG distinguishes between two scenarios.

  1. The sharing of protected content within research groups (Section 60c (1) UrhG)
  2. The use of protected works for own scientific research (Section 60c (2) UrhG)

PERMITTED ...

Scope of use

NOT PERMITTED ...

Right of citation (§ 51 UrhG)

The use of contents from protected works within the scope of the citation right (§ 51) UrhG is permitted if the citation form is taken into account and four further specific conditions are met.

Citation form

Purpose and extent

References and prohibition of changes