Can we make justice through science?

What researchers and teachers should know

Working with digital content is a matter of course for science and teaching today. Scientists evaluate texts in order to gain new knowledge; they use images and videos to convey content, and they share their research with the world over the internet. But what do researchers, teachers and learners have to consider? The Federal Ministry of Research has put together the most important questions and answers - in a detailed handout and in this FAQ.

Our FAQ are an orientation for researchers and teachers. This cannot replace expert advice.

Briefly explained: The most important terms

  • A plant is a personal spiritual creation that has a certain degree of peculiarity, originality or individuality and which can be perceived with the senses. Mere ideas or thoughts are therefore not protected by copyright. The necessary peculiarity, originality or individuality is present when the work stands out from the crowd of everyday life and from merely manual or routine achievements. It is also said that a work needs a certain height of creativity.
  • Originator is any natural person who has created a work through personal intellectual achievement. If several people create a work together, e.g. B. write a joint publication, then they are so-called co-authors.
  • Man "uses“A copyrighted content, if you use the work e.g. B. copied, redistributed or put online.

What teachers and students need to know

1. What uses are allowed?

Duplicate, distribute, make publicly accessible: This use of works protected by copyright allows copyright law (§ 60a UrhG) in teaching.

  • Duplicating means copying - both analogue and digital.
  • Disseminating means passing on a work or a copy of it to third parties.
  • Make publicly accessible means that a work is freely accessible online for everyone.

2. Who can I make content available to?

  • Teachers: These are all the people who teach or teach. You are allowed to use works protected by copyright
  • Participants in the same event: These are all those who attend the same teaching unit (lecture, exercise, seminar), including guest auditors. It is important here that the materials given out may not be passed on to students of other courses.
  • Tester: People who do not belong to the educational institution but hold exams.
  • Also some Third party Copyrighted works may be made available, namely when it comes to the presentation of the teaching unit or of learning outcomes. This z. B. PowerPoint presentations are posted on the website of the educational institution or learning results are presented at the open house. This is intended to provide an insight into the work of the educational institution.

3. For what purpose can I use a work?

Use is permitted to illustrate, supplement or deepen lessons. The illustration can take place before, after or during the lesson or an exam. This also includes the use of copyrighted works by students and teachers during the preparation and follow-up work for the teaching unit - also outside of the university. Use for entertainment purposes is not covered - for example, playing music in the cafeteria, during the open day or as part of the Long Night of Science. For this you need the permission of the author or rights holder.

4. How much of a work can I use?

Up to 15 percent of a work can be used for teaching without permission. The calculation can be based on the total number of numbered pages in a book or on the total playing minutes of films or pieces of music. Some works, such as out-of-print works, works in scientific journals, and works of small size, can be used in full.

(Further details: see handout page 15-16)

Practical questions from university teaching

1. Are exam tasks protected by copyright?

Yes. Examination tasks (including multiple choice tasks) are usually protected by copyright. When it comes to multiple-choice questions, creative output often lies in choosing the wrong alternative answers.

2. Can essays or textbooks be copied for study or for teaching preparation?

Yes. Students (including guest auditors), teachers and examiners may use up to 15 percent of copyrighted works such as textbooks, monographs, daily and popular magazines, etc. Out-of-print works, scientific journal articles and works of small size may even be used in full. However, some works are allowed not at all are used: sheet music and live recordings of z. B. concerts and films. The permission of the author or rights holder is always required for this.

3. Are students or lecturers allowed to insert images, photos and graphics protected by copyright in their term paper or in the teaching material?

The same applies to images as to texts: Both are works protected by copyright. Use is therefore permitted “to illustrate teaching and teaching”. This means that image content can also be used for the lesson as well as for the preparation and follow-up of the lesson, e.g. B. by inserting them into a PowerPoint presentation. In contrast to texts, images, photos and graphics are works of small size and may even be used in full in teaching and research. In addition to the usage permit via § 60a UrhG - especially in the context of a semester, bachelor or master thesis - the right to quote (§ 51 UrhG) also enables permission-free use. In contrast to the usage permit according to § 60a UrhG, the right to quote is not limited to use in teaching and teaching. Everyone can invoke the right to quote. Quotes can come in different forms: text, picture, film or music quotes.

4. Who owns the copyrights to a seminar, bachelor, master or term paper?

Seminar, bachelor, master or term papers are mostly intellectual creations, i. That is, they are works within the meaning of copyright law. The copyrights to a work always lie with the creator of the work, in this case the student. This also applies if the topic suggestion or the case task originate from the academic staff. That means: Without the consent of the students, the work may not be used by others, not even by the university. If several students have written a paper together, there is a case of so-called co-authorship. Then all contributors are authors and thus joint rights holders. In this case, they can and may only exercise their rights together.

5. Who has the rights to work or additional work by professors, academic staff, doctoral candidates and student assistants?

In individual cases, so-called employee copyright law (Section 43 UrhG) can come into play here. In this way, the employer is granted rights of use by law to all works that have arisen in fulfillment of an employment or service relationship. However, the employee remains the author. In the university sector, employee copyright is only valid to a very limited extent. The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of science in accordance with Article 5 (3) of the Basic Law also applies to civil servant university lecturers. After that, research and teaching are free. All research results and creative achievements in the context of teaching are developed independently by the university lecturer and are not subject to employee copyright law. In principle, academic staff are also covered by academic freedom. In individual cases, however, employee copyright can apply if they are not active on their own responsibility and the creation of the work explicitly serves to fulfill the work. This needs to be clarified on a case-by-case basis. Student employees, on the other hand, do not work independently, i. In other words, employee copyright law generally applies here.

6. As a teacher, can I place copyrighted materials in university learning management systems or electronic semester reserves?

Yes. Up to 15 percent of a work can be placed in university learning management systems or electronic semester reserves, unless the works are out of print, small-volume works or scientific journal articles, which can even be completely placed. However, the legal permission only applies to a certain group of users. (See: 2. Who can I make content available to?)

7. Can materials protected by copyright also be used for exams and exams?

Yes. Section 60a UrhG allows the use of works protected by copyright "to illustrate teaching and teaching". Classes and teaching also include examinations, even if they are carried out by external examiners, such as B. State final examinations (state exams) for legal, teaching-related or medical courses. According to § 60a Paragraph 1 No. 1 UrhG, teachers can also support each other in preparing lessons and provide each other with material for this purpose. With regard to the permitted scope of use, the 15 percent limit applies, unless the works are out of print, small-scale works or scientific journal articles.

8. What do I do if the works are copy-protected?

If works are allowed to be used under legal permission and if these works are protected by technical systems (e.g. copy protection), the rights holder, e.g. the publisher, must remove this protection in order to enable the works to be used for teaching purposes, insofar as there is legal access to the work. The copyright law holds ready a claim against the rights holder, according to which he must enable the use (§ 95b UrhG). However, it is not permitted to remove the copy protection yourself.

What researchers need to know

1. Which third-party works can I use?

60c UrhG regulates the extent to which copyrighted materials can be used without permission in the context of research. The law distinguishes whether one is using the materials for that own research used (§ 60c Abs. 2 UrhG) or whether one uses this makes available to others (Section 60c (1) UrhG).

  • For the own scientific research Section 60c (2) UrhG allows the reproduction of up to 75 percent of a work. It is important: Only reproduction is allowed, i. H. the production of an analog or digital copy.
  • For other (recipient) As in teaching, 15 percent of a work may be reproduced, distributed or made publicly available online. The group of recipients may only be a limited group of people who, in turn, may use the materials for their own research. The main application example here are research associations. In addition, may also individual third parties Up to 15 percent of a copyrighted work can be made available if this serves to check the quality of the scientific research. This includes, in particular, reviews as part of a peer review process.
  • When calculating the percentage limits, you can use the total number of numbered pages in a book or the total playing minutes of films or music as a guide. Otherwise, works that are out of print, scientific journal articles and works of small size may be used in their entirety - as in teaching.

2. What do I have to watch out for in text and data mining?

This is regulated by § 60d UrhG. Then it is allowed to automatically and systematically duplicate the original material in order to create a corpus to be evaluated. The source material includes all materials to which the users have legitimate access. Technically protected (e.g. copy-protected) source material can also be used if there is overall legal access. Scientists then have the right to have the rights holder revoke the protection in favor of the use of barriers (Section 95b UrhG). Important is: After completion of the project or research work, the corpus must be deleted or kept at a recognized archive institution.

(Further details: see manual on page 23)

3. Are my research data and results protected by copyright?

research results are usually protected by copyright, as they have the necessary peculiarity, originality or individuality and are therefore a work according to § 2 UrhG. Since the scientists are the authors of the research results, the copyrights are initially with them.

Under Research data “all digital information that is quantitatively or qualitatively created, compiled, transformed or analyzed within the framework of a research process” can be understood. This can be measurement data, but also texts, images or archive materials. Measurement data itself, such as B. laboratory values, are generally not protected by copyright. Data are only protected by copyright if they are summarized in a large number, in a collective work (§ 4 Paragraph 1 UrhG) or a database work (§ 4 Paragraph 2 UrhG).

(Further details: see handout pp. 24-25)

4. What do I have to consider when publishing research results?

That depends on the type of publication! One way is the research Open access to publish and thus make it accessible to everyone. Another option is to publish in one publishing company. For this purpose, a publishing contract is concluded with the publisher and corresponding rights of use are granted. The copyright law knows in principle simple and exclusive rights of use.(Further details: see handout pp. 26-28)

Note: Regardless of the rights granted, every author is entitled to a second publication right in accordance with Section 38 (1) UrhG. The second publication right includes the right to make a publication publicly accessible again after a waiting period of a maximum of 12 months. The right of secondary publication to which every author is entitled applies if his or her work has been published in a periodically published collection and the right has not been contractually excluded. scientist can always invoke the indispensable, i.e. contractually non-exclusive right of secondary publication in accordance with Section 38 (4) UrhG. (Further details: see handout on p. 28)

Practical questions from research

1. Can I make my research results published by a publisher available online?

Usually it depends on the contract with the publisher: Will the publisher all exclusive usage rights granted - which is often the case - the work itself may no longer be used. However, the statutory right of secondary publication can be used here. There is even one for science indispensable right of second publication (§38 Abs. 4 UrhG), which allows the work to be published online again after twelve months, provided that the requirements of the second publication right are met. According to this, the publication must be published in a periodical collection that appears at least twice a year and the contribution must have arisen as part of a research activity that is at least half publicly funded. The manuscript version accepted and checked by the publisher may then be published twelve months after the initial publication. It is important to note that no income may be associated with the secondary publication.

2. May copyright-protected materials be used for your own research?

Yes. Scientists are allowed to reproduce up to 75 percent of copyrighted materials for their own research, i. H. copy digital or analog. However, the copies may not be passed on or forwarded.

3. Can copyrighted materials be distributed to other researchers?

Yes, but only to a limited extent. Up to 15 percent of copyrighted material may be distributed to a specific group of people and to third parties if they check the quality of scientific research (peer review).

4. Is it allowed to reproduce entire works with text and data mining or is there a percentage limit?

With text and data mining, entire works can be copied, structured and standardized in order to create the corpus. The law does not provide for a quantitative limit.

5.How can the corpus be stored for text and data mining after completion of the work?

The corpus must either be deleted after use by the scientist or handed over to legally recognized institutions (e.g. libraries, museums, archives and educational institutions) for long-term archiving. The scientist himself or herself is not allowed to keep the corpus.

6. Can libraries and universities allow their users to save works on USB sticks?

Section 60e (4) UrhG enables libraries (regardless of a corresponding license agreement) to make works from their own holdings available to users digitally at specially set up terminals (previously: electronic reading areas) in the library. It does not matter how many copies of a work the library has in its holdings. Library users may make digital or analog copies of the works made accessible in this way for their research or private studies. If it is saved on the USB stick, it is a digital copy. However, the library is legally obliged to limit the size of the copy. It is permitted to reproduce up to 10 percent of a work digitally or analogously per session. In addition, individual images and articles from the same specialist journal or from an academic journal as well as other small-scale works and out-of-print works can be printed out or saved in full.

7. As a library user, can I request copies of individual works for my research?

Libraries may make copies for their users for non-commercial purposes and send them to them analogously by post or electronically by e-mail. In principle, 10 percent of a work can be copied and sent. Individual articles from specialist journals or scientific journals can even be copied and sent in full.