HeiDOK – Legal Issues in Publishing
It is the aim of the publication server HeiDOK to make scientific publications of members and affiliates of Heidelberg University permanently available in the spirit of open access (see policy).
Scientific publications are usually protected by copyright (see § 2 German Copyright Act), so that the provision and use of the uploaded works by the University Library as the operator of the publication server (for example, storage, publication, cross-linking, long-term archiving), and by other users (for example, reproduction, distribution) can encroach upon the copyright of the authors or other copyright holders.
Before a work can be published on HeiDOK, the copyright holders have to entitle the University Library in a license agreement with the respective rights of use (for example, the right to reproduce and make publicly available on the Internet, see §§ 15 ff. German Copyright Act) and have to assert at the same time that they have the appropriate rights.
The copyright holders grant the University Library not an exclusive, but a simple right of use (see § 31 German Copyright Act), i.e. they can reuse works published on HeiDOK at any time and in any further way (for example, put on their own website, send via E-mail, publish it in a journal or in a monograph).
It should be noted that in further contracts it is not possible for copyright holders to grant exclusive rights anymore, since the previous license agreements remain in effect (see § 33 of the Copyright Act). The license agreement is to be considered binding and has to be considered in further licenses.
Especially when a work is published for the second time the legality of a publication in HeiDOK has to be examined. In this case several scenarios are possible, which are explained in detail on the information platform open-access.net. You may also find the (non-binding) SHERPA / RoMEO list helpful as it has information about the current license conditions of many major scientific publishers in relation to OA publications. Individual agreements must however be given priority.
- Metzger, Axel: Die urheberrechtliche Gestaltung von Open Access Repositorien (legal opinion, 2011)
- Spindler, Gerald (Hrsg.): Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen von Open Access-Publikationen (monograph, 2006)
- Kreutzer, Till: Open Content Lizenzen - Ein Leitfaden für die Praxis (2011)
If you have any questions regarding the necessary rights of use, please feel free to contact us:
Ulrike Fälsch, LL.M.
Tel.: +49 (0)6221-54-2579