Legal information

Legal information

On March 1, 2018, the Act on the Adaptation of Copyright Law to the Current Requirements of the Knowledge Society (UrhWissG) will come into force; Section 52a of the German copyright law (UrhG) and others will be dropped in favour of the new Sections 60a-f UrhG.

The new Section 60a of the UrhG allows the use of 15% of a work (including textbooks and excerpts from films) for teaching purposes. Illustrations, individual articles from the same journal or scientific journal as well as other small works (approx. 25 text pages, 6 note pages, 5 minutes of film/music) and out-of-print works may be used in full.

Such documents may be copied, distributed or made available to the public, i. e. copies may be distributed in the context of teaching in both analogue and digital form, but only to course participants.

The number of participants in the courses was extended to include teachers at the respective course, teachers and examiners at the same educational institution and third parties, insofar as this serves to present the teaching or the teaching or learning outcomes at the educational institution.

These changes are initially limited to 5 years and will then be evaluated.

Section 51 UrhG, which regulates citations, has largely remained unchanged. These regulations allow researchers to use protected works or parts of works in their own work. Citations are only permitted if there is a citation purpose, the scope of the citation is justified by the purpose, the source was stated (Section 63 UrhG) and the works or parts of works cited were not modified (Section 62 UrHG).

And don’t forget: You are always obliged to specify the source!

For more information, see the Praxisleitfaden (Practical Guide) to Law in E-Learning, OER and Open Content by Dr. Till Kreutzer and Tim Hirche.

In this Lecture by Dr. Till Kreutzer (recorded at Campus Innovation on November 24, 2017), some of the most important changes are described and commented.

A synopsis by Dr. Janine Horn (ELAN e.V.): Providing teaching materials according to Section 60 a UrhG - what is new, what remains the same?

In the Explanatory video explaining Section 60a UrhG, Maria, a research assistant, shows how copyright-protected content can be made available to students in a legally compliant manner.