News Item | 04. July 2023

Legal opinion "Audiovisuelle Materialien in Forschung und Lehre – eine Übersicht zu urheberrechtlichen Aspekten" now online (German)

3D-Bild eines Richterhammers

3D-Bild eines Richterhammers

"Ein 3D-Bild eines Richterhammers auf schwarzem Hintergrund." Creator: Conny Schneider, Owner: unsplash

"Audiovisuelle Materialien in Forschung und Lehre – eine Übersicht zu urheberrechtlichen Aspekten" (Audiovisual materials in research and teaching – an overview of copyright aspects) is the title of a legal opinion written in German by Prof. Dr. Paul Klimpel and Fabian Rack, which has now been published as a new guideline on the NFDI4Culture Knowledge Base.

The original legal opinion, entitled "Urheberrechtliche Aspekte beim Umgang mit audiovisuellem Material in Forschung und Lehre" (Copyright aspects of handling audiovisual material in research and teaching), was commissioned by the Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD, the Association of German Historians) and the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM, the German Society for Media Studies) and written by Dr. Paul Klimpel and Dr. Eva-Marie König and made available to the public in 2015.

Numerous changes in the legal situation regarding the German "Urheberrecht" (copyright) have prompted the VHD, GfM and NFDI4Culture to commission an updated version, which is hereby made available to the public under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Since the first version was published, the legal framework has changed significantly. On the one hand, German legislation subjected the copyright permissions for use in research and teaching to a fundamental reform in 2017. On the other hand, the European Union adopted a (further) copyright directive in 2019, which, among other things, facilitated the use of "unavailable" works. This legal opinion aims to explain the impact of these changes on the handling of audiovisual works in research and teaching.

But not only the legal framework has changed since 2014. The reception behaviour of at least contemporary film has also shifted strongly away from the carrier medium and towards streaming. This can make it difficult to make local copies, both in fact and in law. Developments since the publication of the first version of the legal opinion have necessitated a comprehensive revision and reworking of the legal issues dealt within this legal opinion. Its structure has also been modified.

An adaptation of the text to a gender-equitable style as well as the editing and set-up was carried out in consultation with the authors by Martin Albrecht-Hohmaier and Alexander Stark on behalf of NFDI4Culture, the VHD and the GfM.

Direct link to the legal opinion on the NFDI4Culture Knowledge Base:

The data publication can be accessed together with the PDF version via and will soon be available as a PDF download on the websites of the Association of Historians of Germany (VHD) and the Society for Media Studies (GfM) as well as at iRights law.