Press release 12/09|
10 November 2009
Support for the petition "Science and Research — open access to research publications" for the German Bundestag
The Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Research"
welcomes and supports the initiative of Lars Fischer on
and Research — open access to scientific publications",
[english translation of the petition text]
which has been introduced as a formal petition to the German
Parliament. The explanatory statement rightly reminds the parties in
authority that something is wrong with how we are communicating our
published research findings: Knowledge produced in public
institutions with public money is accessible only for a fee, and as
a result a large portion of the research community for whom it was
written – to be used, applied and build upon – are excluded from
accessing it unless they pay. Excluded too is much of the general
public that funded the research, unless they pay again.
For years the Coalition for Action, together with many other scientific
organisations, has pointed out that in regard to copyright the
legislative body has to bear the public interest in mind. It serves
neither the interests of research progress nor of economic growth
for legislators to protect the interests of the commercial
exploitation by publishers of the reports of publicly funded
research findings at the expense of the interests of research
progress itself as well as the public that funds the research and
for whose benefit it is conducted. Scientific publications, the
petition demands, have to be made accessible online to all potential
users free of charge.
Till the end of its term, the Ministry of Justice of the previous
government refused to acknowledge in its legislation the growing
world-wide movement toward Open Access and failed to mandate
Open-Access provision on the part of researchers (as institutions
and funders in 24 other countries have done; in Germany, only the
Fraunhofer Gesellscheft has so far mandated Open Access).
Constructive ideas from the federal council (Bundesrat) (especially
regarding §38 of the German Copyright Law), based on
well-thought-out suggestions from the scientific community, were
dismissed. The new government should do better than this.
Apparently, however, reasoning alone is not enough. The Coalition hopes that the
petition, coming from the source – the research community itself
– will reverberate widely. One cannot explain to citizens – they
would certainly not consider it to be fair – that online access to
something that for all intents and purposes belongs to them
(publicly funded research findings) must be paid for by both its
intended users (researchers) and the public itself. As a basic rule,
publicly funded knowledge should be freely accessible to and usable
by everybody (while of course respecting all the personal rights of
The Coalition for Action wishes to draw attention to the new
governmental coalition’s agreement that consultations concerning
the third reform packet of German Copyright law should start
quickly. This reform packet is dedicated to education and science,
as decided by the German parliament at the time. Neither education
nor science should need to continue to depend on inadequate and even
detrimental special exceptions in the law in order to provide free
online access to refereed research findings.
If the scientific community finds it difficult to protest against
harmful developments in copyright law, perhaps citizens are less
squeamish. This petition – which is only for mandating free online
access to publications reporting publicly funded research – can be
an important first step toward extending this right of free online
access free to further forms of knowledge. The Coalition for Action
suggests that all the signers of the
Declaration, the Budapest
Open Access Initiative and
Open Access Petition – as
well as all other scholars in science and education – sign the
petition. We also advise reading the just-published paper on Open
Access "Positionen, Prozesse, Perspektiven" by the Alliance of
German Science Organisations (Allianz der
Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen
Speaker for the Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education and Science"
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|
|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.