Legal Frameworks

Priority Area in Detail

At present, the establishment and use of integrated digital research environments is being hampered by two factors which must be addressed in the political sphere. These are the latest amendment to German copyright law and the different rates of value added tax for printed and digital publications. The Alliance initiative partners are working to achieve a joint, research-friendly position with the relevant stakeholders and to serve as a "lever" for the initiative in the political arena. 

Outlook and Objectives 2013 - 2017

In view of the continuation of the legislation process for the third stage of the Copyright Act and the legal issues that continue to arise in other working groups of the Alliance initiative, the working group proposes that in the coming period, its activities should be split into two areas. Firstly, it should continue to be active with respect to the copyright law amendment process, for example by commenting on the coming draft (in collaboration with the legal advisers of the Alliance organisations) and promote the Alliance's position on copyright issues in consultation with the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. Secondly, it should handle preliminary work for cross-disciplinary topics of the Alliance initiative. This relates to Open Access Gold publishing, usage rights for publications and research data, the long-term funding of open access community services, and the inalienable secondary publication right. The group may require additional legal experts for particular purposes.

As there has not so far been any sign of political willingness to change the rate of VAT for digital media, the Legal Frameworks group saw no realistic chance of achieving success in this area. However, in view of recent statements from the European Commission and German politicians, calling for equal rates of taxation for printed and digital media, there may be a future need for action here. The Legal Frameworks group will monitor developments in the political debate.