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
|October 15 – 16, 2015
Annual Meeting of the Coaltion in Berlin
Program and Registration starting in May
|May 8th 2015
The requirement to set up a
comprehensive exception to the rights of education and science in copyright law,
initiated by the Coalition for Action and by
is now arrived at the vice president, Digital Single Market of the EU Commission, Andrus Ansip,
through a letter of
Today the EU presented its vision for ‚A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe‘.
Section 2.4. touches upon copyright issues for education and science, specifically on text and data mining.
Our Coalition will follow the ongoing debate about the EU copyright reform and will promote the need for a
comprehensive exception in favour of education and science.
|April 22nd 2015
To the World Book and Copyright Day it is recalled: authors, education and research need access.
|April 20th 2015
Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen zum § 52b Urteil des BGH:
„Für Bildung und Wissenschaft [..] ist die Entscheidung ein wichtiger Schritt in Richtung eines bildungs- und wissenschaftsfreundlichen Urheberrechts.“
|January 26th 2015
Informationsblatt zum Zweitverwertungsrecht für wissenschaftliche Artikel erschienen. Falls Sie größere Stückzahlen zum Auslegen bei Tagungen etc. benötigen, kontaktieren Sie uns einfach.
(Flyer zum Selbstausdrucken...)
|December 4th 2014
Aktualisierter Textvorschlag einer allgemeinen und umfassenden Bildungs- und
|older news is available from our archive|
Folder on the Right for a Second Publication for Scientific Articles
- Version: February 2015
Information als Vitamin für Innovation: Schanken 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
Flyer of the Coalition
facebook page of the Coalition
project is developing a social networking for the topic of copyright in
education and research.