Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New German copyright law is confusing scholars

Authors Object Under Copyright Act, German American Law Journal, January 1, 2008.  Excerpt:

On January 1, 2008, German authors are confused. Revisions to the Copyright Act, Urheberrechtsgesetz, enter into force today. A new provision, in § 137(l), appears to require their affirmative action to prevent the publication of old works in new media without their express consent.

The archivist blog Archivalia published various opinions on the due date for objections to be filed by authors with publishers and now understands the law to mean that the due date does not fall on December 31, 2007, as widely reported, but a year later.

Meanwhile, authors who objected in order to preserve their works for publication through open access media run into the dismissal of their objections by publishers who argue that the waivers are either formally improper or substantively inapplicable. The latter category includes contributions to journals and collective works. The publishers' association, Börsenverein, spearheads the effort and published a manual on new media law.

PS:  For readers of German, the best source of information and pro-OA advice is Klaus Graf's Archivalia.