Press Release 4/09|
of June 5th 2009
VG Wort and Google - in the interest of education and research?
The Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Research" recommends all researchers not to agree to or even to veto against the
most recent change of the VG Wort contract (the German collecting society for authors). The Coalition for Action has informed their
institutional and individual subscribers of the Göttingen Declaration about this recommendation. The Coalition for Action considers the
interests of education and research to achieve free access to information and knowledge to be at risk when, as the VG Wort contract
suggests, all texts of German authors will be withdrawn from Google Book Search and when access (eventually and probably under commercial
conditions) can only be renewed under a licence controlled by VG Wort. The Coalition for Action calls upon VG Wort to take the interest of
science and education in free access into account in any case. Otherwise there might be a need to establish alternative means to respond
to the growing interest of researchers to exercise their rights against Google themselves.
The Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Research" fears that the treaty between Google and the US editors/authors (the
so-called "settlement") on the one hand and the
changed contract to exercise the
rights of authors of VG Wort on the other will not
sufficiently take into account the needs of education and research. In the same way the Coalition for Action demands a special right, an
education- and research-friendly copyright from the legislator it will have to demand special regulations for the use of digitized works
in education and research from Google and VG Wort.
VG Wort right now is trying to make the authors assign the safeguarding of their rights to VG Wort. If VG Wort succeeds in receiving these
rights it plans to remove all books written in German for which VG Wort has got the rights from Google Book Search after the legal
approvement of the "settlement". This will be applicable for books out of print as well as for deliverable books. Probably
pay-per-view-models are meant. Insofar as deliverable books are concerned text abstracts and snippets will no longer be displayed. Only
bibliographic metadata will be displayed.
This is not what education and research are interested in.
In research the low financial profits of authors by pay-per-view-models is not comparable to the individual and economical costs implied
in the lack of a free (and possibly complete) access to the works. It is not only that free access enhances the visibility of the own
works and therefore increases personal reputation but also the possibility to know and access many works of other authors is of great
importance to any scientist. It has scientifically been proven long ago that the easier it is to gain access to published knowledge the
more national economy will profit. This may not be true for public entertainment markets or fiction.
As long as VG Wort does not support the interests of education and research and free access more intensely the Coalition for Action
recommends all researchers not to agree to the most recent change of the VG Wort contract to exercise the rights of authors or even to
possibly express their veto explicitly against it. Proposing this the Coalition for Action has contacted the (372) institutional and
(7056) individual subscribers of the Göttingen Declaration (see URL). Via contacting the research organizations and scientific
associations further researchers will be addressed.
Furthermore, the Coalition for Action is in doubt whether it belongs to the tasks of VG Wort to safeguard authors' rights for foreign
countries. This is why the Coalition for Action appeals to VG Wort to limit themselves to negotiating with Google the non-commercial use
of works which were scanned in the past or will be scanned in the future. As a matter of course the rights of the authors to annually
apply for the distribution in reward of their published works will not be touched.
If VG Wort refuses to comply with the demands of the Coalition for Action, the possibilities for a representation of the interests in OA
by education and research themselves must be considered. Even now the Coalition for Action tries to come to an agreement with Google that
would allow free display in Google Book Search, possibly with publicity, but under the condition that no new commercial business models
will arise from this.
Though demanding free access to the scientific materials digitized by Google the Coalition for Action does not favor Google's intention to
digitize and publish scientific works. The Coalition for Action will support any attempt to make freely accessible published
(out-of-print, orphaned, but also deliverable) works from research and the broader range of culture. Surely in every singular case the
provision of adequate compensation will have to be checked. The Coalition for Action invites public institutions of the federal states of
Germany in charge to effectively fund actual projects like the Europeana, the European digital library, or the various projects that will
culminate in a German digital library. Considering the often deficient quality of Google digitalization the tasks of digitizing the common
cultural heritage may not be left to Google.
Further information can be obtained from email@example.com or from the speaker of the Coalition for Action:
Rainer Kuhlen, head of IUWIS - Infrastructure Copyright for Education and Research.
Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Research"
The Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Research"
(http://www.urheberrechtsbuendnis.de/) was founded in 2004 in connection with
the amendment of copyright legislation in Germany. The Coalition for Action
lobbies for a balanced copyright and demands free access to worldwide
information at any time from anywhere for everybody active in public education
and research. The Coalition for Action is based on the Göttingen Declaration on
Copyright for Education and Research of 5 July 2004. Six members of the alliance
of German research organizations (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der
angewandten Forschung e.V., Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren
e.V., Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft,
Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz e.V. and Wissenschaftsrat),
more than 365 learned societies, federations and institutions as well as more
than 7,000 individuals were subscribers to this declaration. Speakers of the
Coalition for Action are Prof. Dr. Kuhlen (Konstanz), Dr. Müller (Heidelberg),
Dr. Sepp (Kassel). More information on demand by: rainer.kuhlen at uni-konstanz.de, hmueller at mpil.de and sepp at
|Next Relevant Dates|
6. November 2020
Jahrestagung des Aktionsbündnisse (online)
Ein Status-Überblick zum Urheberrecht — national und in Europa
Programm und Anmeldung
|April 6th 2021
The coaltion of action takes a position on the "draft law to adapt copyright law to the requirements of the digital single market".
Opinion of April 6, 2021 on the Draft Law.
Opinion of Februar 22, 2021 on the Draft Law.
Opinion of November 6, 2020 on the Draft Bill.
|October 7th 2020
Published by de Gruyter:
Rainer Kuhlen, „Die Transformation der Informationsmärkte in Richtung Nutzungsfreiheit — Alternativen zur Als-ob-Regulierung im Wissenschaftsurheberrecht“.
Online unter DOI: 10.1515/9783110693447
|February 28th 2018
UrhWissG comes into force — not a big progress, but greater legal certainty and some improvements
|November 20th 2017
All presentations given at our anual meeting on November 8, 2017 are available online:
|June 7th 2017
The copyright reform (UrhWissG) was passed — facilitation, but no reason to cheer
|June 26th 2017
An appeal to the German Bundestag: The UrhWissG has to be passed without restrictions within this legislative period.
The Coalition for Action calls on the two chairmen of the CDU/CSU and of the SPD, Volker Kauder and Thomas Oppermann,
to release the governmental draft for the German Copyright Act for the vote in the Bundestag, and then
we call the members of the Bundestag to eatablish the law without restrictions.
|May 22nd 2017
FAZ, you can not win this fight — distorted journalism in terms of copyright by publisher and managing director of FAZ newspaper
The action alliance criticizes the open letter of the editors and managing directors to the German Bundesrat of 12.5.2017 and of the 18.05.2017 to the deputies of the German Bundestag.
Through these letters the "makers" of the newspaper try to exert pressure on the legislature. This behavior can only be described as unusual and extremely dubious.
|May 10th 2017
Der Bundesrat sollte sich nicht von den Untergangsszenarien des Börsenvereins blenden lassen.
Wir haben in einer Stellungnahme an den Bundesrat diesen aufgefordert, den Gesetzesentwurf zum
„Urheberrechts-Wissensgesellschafts-Gesetz — UrhWissG“ anlässlich seiner Plenarsitzung am
12. Mai 2017 nicht aufzuhalten, sondern im Prinzip zu unterstützen.
|April 27th 2017
Die Zeit drängt: Bildung und Wissenschaft brauchen eine Reform des Urheberrechts!
Wir unterstützen weiter den vom Bundeskabinett beschlossenen Gesetzentwurf für eine Reform des Urheberrechts, jedoch
bedauern wir die Verschlechterungen des Regierungsentwurfs im Vergleich zum Referentenentwurf.
|February 14th 2017
We make you aware that on the website
www.publikationsfreiheit.de is being tried, to manipulate
the public and in particular the authors in education and science with incorrect claims in favor of
|January 24th 2017
The way has not yet come to an end — but the direction is right
The Coalition for Action sees in the draft bill for a "Copyright Law Knowledge Society Act —
UrhWissG" from the ministry for justice an important step in the direction of an education and science-friendly copyright law.
|December 21st 2016
The road to the One General Exception for Education and Research (ABWS) should now be free now & mdash; Go ahead, Minister Maas!
|December 15th 2016
KMK, VG Wort and HRK must finally create clarity
The joint press release of KMK, VG Wort and HRK from 9 December 2016 is a source of uncertainty and confusion in the universities.
What should actually be done with the electronic semester apprentices from 1 January 2017? Further is currently
deleted or placed texts invisible. There is a need for action!
|December 12th 2016
And they seem to still be able to move - KMK and VG-Wort. And the university rector conference (HRK) is now on board.
However, the transitional regulation from the beginning of 2017 is still unclear.
Debt to the present obvious disaster around the framework
contract to § 52a UrhG is ultimately the intolerable delay tactics of the policy.
|November 23rd 2016
Folder with our recommendations for dealing with the framework contract between KMK and VG-Wort to § 52a UrhG has been published.
|November 16th 2016
Offener Brief an den Bundesminister der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz Heiko Maas: „Bitte lassen Sie den Schleier von
diesem verdeckten Objekt [dem Entwurf einer Bildungs- und Wissenschaftsschranke im Urheberrecht] wegreißen!
Der Öffentlichkeit ist das Spiel mit Andeutungen nicht länger zuzumuten.“
|older news is available from our archive|
All presentations given at our anual meeting von November 8, 2017 are online available:
Was wissen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler
über ihre Urheberrechte,
wie handeln sie, und was wünschen sie?
- Studie im Auftrag des Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft e.V.
Folder with our recommendations for dealing with the framework contract between KMK and VG-Wort to § 52a UrhG
- Version: 22 November 2016
- Format: A4 duplex
Folder on our Current Demands
- Version: August 2015
Folder on a Comprehensive Copyright Clause in Support of Education and Science
- Version: August 2015
Folder on the Right for a Second Publication for Scientific Articles
- Version: July 2015
Information als Vitamin für Innovation: Schranken oder Lizenzen für Forschung und Lehre?
- Compilation for the annual meeting on October 10, 2013
Breite Unterstützung für eine umfassende Verbesserung des Urheberrechts für Bildung und Wissenschaft
- Evaluation of a survey and policy implications, September / October 2011
facebook page of the Coalition
project is developing a social networking for the topic of copyright in
education and research.