What rights do I have to my published work?

What rights do I have to my published work?

Here, no binding legal information should and cannot be given, but rather assistance for orientation in the question of which rights employees (employees) have in their publications.

Publications are protected by copyright.

Scientific publications easily fulfil the condition of the level of creation required for copyright protection.

Who or what exactly is protected by copyright?

Copyright protects the author in two ways. The author personality right protects the link between the author and the work; the work may not be used without reference (quotation) to the author. The copyright exploitation right allows the author to dispose of the use of his work.

In the case of a publication, the form, i.e. the concrete presentation of the research results, is protected. The content of the research is not protected unless it can be considered an invention. There are special legal provisions for inventions. Natural laws and knowledge of them are available to all.

Who is the author of a work in the case of an employment relationship?

The author is the creator of the work; there may be co-authors who are jointly entitled to the copyright and who jointly dispose of it in accordance with the legally established principles of good faith.

The employer has a right to use the results of employees' work, whether published or not.

Unlike in the USA, there is no special copyright treatment of work made for hire in Germany. Unlike in the USA, in Germany the employer does not receive copyrights to works created within the framework of employment relationships.

Can copyright be assigned?

In Germany, the author's personal right cannot be assigned; it remains with the author. The right of use, on the other hand, can be assigned by the author; it automatically expires 70 years after the death of the author.

Who signs licence agreements with publishers?

The signing of license agreements (copyright agreements) with publishers involves the assignment of rights of use by the author(s) to the publisher. The authors who are the authors of the publication's work are the ones who can sign it, and only these are the authors.

What should authors consider in licensing agreements?

Authors should ensure that they do not assign an unlimited exclusive right of use to their work. In particular, they should not be excluded from using their published work themselves, for example by not having access to the publisher's pdf of their publication, and they should be allowed to place their work on the server of their institution at least in a self-chosen (preprint) form, see the information on Open Access at the Centre.