German OA bill

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 20:05:12 +0100

The new German Bill is excellent, and missing only one thing: Replace
the current six-month embargo on *deposit* with a 6-month embargo on
setting access to Open Access. Deposit of the full text and metadata
should be immediate upon acceptance for publication, but access to the
full text can be set to Closed Access during the embargo period, with
only the metadata Open Access. Then the repository softare allows the
author to be individually contacted semi-automatically by any would-be
user to ask to be emailed the eprint:

 Excerpted for Peter Suber's OA News:

The German OA bill

Last Friday I blogged a note on a new bill (Entwurf eines Zweiten
Gesetzes zur Regelung des Urheberrechts in der
Informationsgesellschaft) before the German Bundesrat that would
support OA to German science. I asked for help in translating or
summarizing it in English. I just heard from Gerd Hansen, an OA
advocate, doctoral candidate at the Max-Planck-Institute for
Intellectual Property Law in Munich, and by good luck the author or at
least the inspiration for the new bill. From his email:

    "The provision that is currently being discussed is based on the
    wording I have proposed in an article on "Access to scientific
    information" published in GRUR Int. 2005, 378, p. 17 (until this
    very moment only in German).

    The Bundesrat now asked for a provision (p. 7) that would support
    OA in particular by giving authors the right to make their articles
    available online, even if they have granted exclusive rights to the
    publisher, if the following requirements are met:

        * only after expiration of 6-months since first publication
        * research predominantly based on public (tax payer) money
        * only publications in periodicals
        * non-commercial purpose of post-print-publication
        * author is obliged to use his final version of the article

    The provision would be mandatory and is not subject to any contrary

Comment [by Peter Suber]. Congratulations to Gerd for this creative
approach to OA and for seeing it through to the Bundesrat --and thanks
for the translation help. The bill in effect permits author-initiated OA
to publicly-funded research in Germany, though without mandating it. A
mandate would be stronger, but this approach is the most direct way
I've seen to resolve doubts about permission and make publisher dissent
irrelevant. In any case, the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft),
Germany's primary public funding agency, is already implementing an OA
policy in between a request and a requirement. I'd be delighted to see
the "Hansen bill" adopted and I hope German friends of OA will do what
they can to support it. Permanent link to this post

Posted by Peter Suber at 5/22/2006 10:16:00 PM.
Received on Tue May 23 2006 - 21:15:49 BST

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