Register of Out-Of-Commerce Works launched by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

On the 24th of April the Register of Out-Of-Commerce Works of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has gone live. This makes possible digital use of out-of-commerce print works by non-profit organisations. The newly launched Register enables libraries, museums and archives to digitise out-of-print works and to make them available to the general public. In order to perform such acts of exploitation under copyright law, they have to make licence agreements with collecting societies.
Such a licensing by the collecting societies is subject to a prior registration of out-of-commerce works published before 1 January 1966 in the Register kept at the DPMA. A request for registration can only be filed by collecting societies. However, the new Register does not contain all works out of commerce in Germany. The Register only informs right holders of out-of-commerce works about a collecting society’s intention to grant licences for certain works registered at the DPMA for non-commercial digitising projects.
Besides information about the work itself, particularly about the title, author and publisher of the work, it will also be published in the Register whether a right holder has objected to the licensing. That way, institutions interested to use the works can see which works are not available for digitising projects.
New provisions in Sections 13d and 13e of the Copyright Administration Act (Urheberrechtswahrnehmungsgesetz) that became effective on 1 April 2014 allow for this. They also presume that collecting societies are entitled to administrate rights even in works whose right holders have not entrusted the collecting societies with the administration of their rights. According to the legal requirements, the DPMA does not check the entries in the electronic Register.

Post a Response

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with * are mandatory.