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Legal Aspects

Protection of Author and Usage Rights

As creators of scientific or scholarly works which are protected by copyright, authors can decide freely about the usage and exploitation of his or her works. Due to rigid publishing contracts claiming exclusive usage rights, however, authors literally risk losing authority over their own work. Therefore, we suggest not to sign any publishing contract that claims the exclusive right to use your work. We rather recommend to reserve the right for Second Publication on the Publication Server of your institution or on a specialized document server instead. We also suggest to assign Free Licenses in order to guarantee sustainable use of your research findings for other researchers and thus to legally reserve your rights as an author. It is highly recommendable to publish first with an Open Access publisher who admits free Creative Commons Licenses.

Important Note on Second Publication

  • In order to transfer usage and exploitation rights for secondary Open Access publications (Green Road) to third parties it is absolutely necessary for the author to be the right-holder of the actual rights to be transferred. Please check in advance if you are the actual right-holder for all the footage used in your publication. For detailed advice, please do not hesitate and get in touch with us.

  • Once your work has been published as a secondary publication, usage and exploitation rights for your work are not transferrable to third parties anymore. Therefore, you should refrain from assigning exclusive rights in general. When setting up a publication contract make sure to reserve all rights of use and exploitation for your work.

  • If the publisher of the primary publication has not been granted the exclusive right of use but the contractual simple, non-exclusive right of use instead, it is possible to publish the secondary release according to Open Access principles without restrictions. The same rule applies if authors have explicitly reserved their right to publish online as well.

  • In case all rights of use for an article or monograph belong to the publisher of the primary publication authors are not free anymore to make the respective work available to the public via the internet. Authors rather need the publisher’s permission to do so.

For further information on the protection of author and usage rights, please check the following page.

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