A Member State may authorise libraries to digitise, without the consent of the rightholders, books they hold in their collection so as to make them available at electronic reading points

pontika.nancy@gmail.com's bookmarks 2014-09-12


"Pursuant to the Copyright Directive1, authors have the exclusive right to authorise or to prohibit the 
reproduction and the communication to the public of their works. However, the directive allows 
Member States to provide for specific exceptions or limitations to that right. This option exists 
notably for publically accessible libraries which, for the purpose of research or private study, make 
works from their collections available to users by dedicated terminals. In the present case, the 
Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice of Germany) is asking the Court of Justice to clarify 
the scope of this option, of which Germany has made use.  The Bundesgerichtshof is required to rule on a dispute between the Technical University of Darmstadt (Technische Universität Darmstadt) and a German publishing house, Eugen Ulmer KG.The university library digitised a book published by Eugen Ulmer2
before making it available on its electronic reading posts. It refused the offer of the publishing house to purchase and use as electronic books (‘e-books’) the textbooks Eugen Ulmer publishes (the book in question among 
them). Eugen Ulmer is seeking to prevent the university from digitising the book in question and 
users of the library from being able, via the electronic reading points, to print out the book or store 
it on a USB stick and/or take those reproductions out of the library.In its judgment delivered today, the Court holds, first of all, that, even if the rightholder offers to a library the possibility of concluding licencing agreements for the use of his works on appropriate terms, the library may avail itself of the exception provided for in favour of dedicated terminals; otherwise, the library could not realise its core mission or promote the public interest in promoting 
research and private study.Next, the Court finds that the directive does not prevent Member States from granting libraries the  right to digitise the books from their collections, if it becomes necessary, for the purpose of 
research or private study, to make those works available to individuals by dedicated terminals. The 
right of libraries to communicate, by dedicated terminals, the works they hold in their collections 
would risk being rendered largely meaningless, or indeed ineffective, if they did not have an 
ancillary right to digitise the works in question. 3 However, the Court holds that that right of communication which may be held by publicly accessible libraries cannot permit individuals to print out the works on paper or store them on a 
USB stick from dedicated terminals. The printing out of a work on paper and its storage on a USB 
sticks are acts of reproduction, in so far as they aim to create a new copy of the digital copy made 
available to individuals. Such acts of reproduction are not necessary for communicating the work to 
users by means of dedicated terminals and are therefore not covered by the right of 
communication by means of dedicated terminals, particularly since they are made by individuals 
and not by the library itself ..."



From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » pontika.nancy@gmail.com's bookmarks
Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


oa.digitization oa.librarians oa.libraries oa.ulmer oa.licensing oa.copyright oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.litigation oa.europe oa.germany oa.press_release oa.new ru.sparc oa.libre

Date tagged:

09/12/2014, 07:54

Date published:

09/12/2014, 08:02