In the layer of technological change (especially new media like the Internet) and the upcoming of an new “information society”, a reformation of the German copyright law (UrhG) seems to be urgently needed. Among other things, the legislation applies to “harmonize” german law to the guidelines of the European and international law. The latest reform of the UrhG (the so-called “Third Basket”), covered for 2012, is already preceded by two earlier reforms. With regards to the European Directive 2001/29/EC form 2001, there was a first reform in 2003 (“First Basket”) and another one – the Second Act Governing Copyright in the Information Society (“Second Basket”) – in 2008, which is still valid.
Controversially discussed and of particular interest in light of scientific teaching and research practice were especially the paragraphs 51, 52 and 53. Those Paragraphs set the legal framework for quotations (§ 51), performance in public (§ 52), Public access for teaching and research (§ 52a), performances on electronic reading stations in public libraries, museums and archives (§ 52b), reproduction for private and other use (§ 53) and sending copies (§ 53b). Closely associated with the legal framework of the genesis and dissemination of knowledge is always the debate about Open Access. The legal discussion on Open Access is mainly focused to the concept of the “golden road” – which means the self-publishing by authors or universities in Open Access formats – and concepts of the “green road”, which means a limited temporary transfer of usage rights to Publishers and Booksellers to facilitate later Open Access exploitations.

Some of the Key actors and institutions in the debate are the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des deutschen Buchandels), the Coalition for Copyright for Education and Science (Aktionsbündnis Urheberrecht für Bildung und  Wissenschaft) and GRUR e.v. (Deutsche Vereinigung für Rechtschutz und Urheberrecht) – The German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. The latter association, also publishes the magazine “GRUR”, which is an important communication platform for the legal and scientific debate on intellectual property and copyright law.
While the Publishers and Booksellers Association prefers a conservative reform of the current law, which ensures the protection of copyright interests, the Coalition for Copyright for Education and Science rather tends to reform concepts which privileges Open Access formats and foster knowledge transfers.


Aktionsbündnis Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft: Berliner Erklärung über den offenen Zugang zu wissenschaftlichem Wissen. [URL: Berliner_Erklaerung_dt_Version_07-2006.pdf] [Stand 11.12.2011]

Börsenverein des Deutschenbuchhandels: Stellungnahme zu den Fragen des Bundesministeriums der Justiz vom 13. Februar 2009. [URL:] [Stand 11.12.2011]

Czychowski, Christian: “Wenn der dritte Korb aufgemacht wird…” – Das zweite Gesetzt zur Regelung des Urheberrechts in der Informationsgesellschaft, in: GRUR 2008, J.110 Nr.7, S. 591-596.

Kamphuis, Andrea: Cologne Commons: Urheberrecht 2.0 oder 1.3?, Blogeintrag vom 13.06.2010 auf [URL:] [Stand: 11.12.2011]

Pfeifer, Karl-Nikolaus: Wissenschaftsmarkt und Urheberrecht: Schranken, Vertragsrecht, Wettbewerbsrecht, in: GRUR 2009, J.111 Nr.1, S.22-28.

von: Mathis