According to section 52a of the German Copyright Act (UrhG), it is allowed – under certain conditions – to provide copyright protected works in electronic form for the participants of courses or research groups via the learning platform. However, this is only permitted under the conditions specified in section 52a UrhG.
According to the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH), a mere license offer takes precedence over the use of materials under section 52a UrhG.
For e-Books and articles from eJournals already licensed by Mannheim University Library, you can provide links to these ressources in ILIAS.
Besides, you can upload pdf-files provided by the platform www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de (Booktex) to ILIAS.
Mannheim University Library offers a broad range of e-books. They can be accessed via the Catalog Primo. Use Primo’s permalink functionality to link from ILIAS to a specific item in the catalogue.
E-journals can be accessed via Primo, via the Electronic Journal Library (EZB), or in article databases. Many journals support permalinks that can be included in ILIAS.
Members of the University can access electronic media for which the University Library has a license on site, and via the WLAN network eduroam. Remote access is possible via virtual private network (VPN). A few database providers do not allow VPN.
The platform www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de (Booktex) offers special licenses for copyright protected texts from some german publishers. The complete list of publishers can be found on the start page of www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de.
Some of the texts included in www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de are available in electronic form at Mannheim University Library, too. Please check the catalog Primo before using www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de.
If the texts are not available in electronic form at the University Library, but are offered by www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de, you can license them. The license is valid for one specific course and for one semester only. The price is calculated based on the number of pages and the number of students that attend the course.
The University Library checks every order, and refers you to more cost-effective solutions, if appropriate. This can take up to 2 working days. The University Library bears the costs of orders by Mannheim University teaching staff up to a total of EUR 3,000.
How to use www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de (PDF, 449 KB, only available in German)
For instructional purposes small parts of works, small scale works, as well as individual articles from newspapers or journals may be made available under section 52a UrhG.
“Small parts” means
Under section 52a UrhG, works may be made available
Materials may only be made available to the limited group of course participants, or members of the research group, respectively, e. g. password-protected on ILIAS.
German Federal Court of Justice (BGH), judgement of 28 November 2013, Az. I ZR 76/12 (Meilensteine der Psychologie)
Until the end of 2016, the legally required fee was paid in form of a lump sum by the Länder to the German Copyright Collective Agency (VG Wort). In the new framework agreement between the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) and VG Wort from 28 September 2016, the fee for the use of copyright protected materials to be paid by the university was calculated according to the individual use of the text by every instructor (via a portal provided by VG Wort). According to a pilot project carried out by the University of Osnabrück, this creates unreasonably complicated administrative procedures, especially for teaching staff.
The University of Mannheim decided not to join the framework agreement following the recommendations of the State Rectors' Conference of Baden-Württemberg as well as many other State Rectors' Conferences and higher education institutions in Germany.
Thereupon, the German Rector's Conference (HRK), the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK), and the Copyright Collective Agency VG WORT agreed to extend the existing payment of lump sums for the use of texts as defined in section 52a UrhG until September 2017. By this time, a joint working group of HRK, KMK and VG WORT was to find a practical solution under consideration of the judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) of 20 March 2013. In August 2017, the lump sum payment was once more extended until 28 February 2018.
On 01 March 2018 the German Act to Align Copyright Law with the Current Demands of the Knowledgebased Society (Urheberrechts-Wissensgesellschafts-Gesetz – UrhWissG) will come into force, allowing the payment of lump sums for the use of copyright protected works in digital course reserves.
Act to Align Copyright Law with the Current Demands of the Knowledgebased Society (Urheberrechts-Wissensgesellschafts-Gesetz – UrhWissG)
German Federal Court of Justice (BGH), judgement of 20 March 2013, Az. I ZR 84/11 (Gesamtvertrag Hochschul-Intranet)
German Rector's Conference (HRK) (23-12-2016): Vorläufige Vereinbarung zur Verwendung von Schriftwerken für Lehre und Forschung an Hochschulen [press release].
State Rectors' Conference of Baden-Württemberg and Universität Bayern e.V. (02-11-2016): Digitale Lehre: Bayerische und baden-württembergische Universitäten lehnen Beitritt zur Rahmenvereinbarung der VG Wort ab [press release].
Pilot project carried out by the University of Osnabrück
What alternatives exist to provide students with materials?
Materials under open licenses, e.g. Creative Commons-BY, can be used according to the license terms and regardless of section 52a UrhG.
Do you want to set aside recommended books for class use? We can prepare course reserves from our collections according to your wishes in one of our library sections.
More information on course reserves.
Are you missing an important item in our portfolio, or do you need more items of a specific book? The University Library will be pleased to receive your acquisition requests. Please state how many items are needed and if an electronic version is preferred.
Acquisition requests can be posted via a central form.
You can include reading lists with references to print literature available at Mannheim University Library in ILIAS, in order to help students to quickly get access to these items in the library.