Germany - Article 30

Copyright

Does your national copyright legislation contain exceptions and other special provisions for people with visual impairment?
Do these exceptions allow for making copy of a book without the publisher's permission?
Do these exceptions allow for scanning books (in particular is an individual with visual impairment allowed to scan a book for him/herself, or does a special organization have to do it?)
Do these exceptions allow for sharing books produced on accessible formats? (in particular is an individual with visual impairment allowed to share with friends books he/she scanned?)
Are there special copyright provisions regarding accessible text books and other educational material?

 

1. Does your national copyright legislation contain exceptions and other special provisions for people with visual impairment?

An exemption in the German copyright law allows for ensuring access to unaccessible copyright-protected products by coverting them into an accessible format and distributing them on a non-profit purpose to disabled people. No license needs to be asked for but the copyright holder can claim an "appropriate" compensation through an association he/she specifically designates for that purpose. In practice, following negotiations with libraries/printing houses of Deutscher Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband e.V (German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted), the amount of this compensation has been sizeably reduced.

Source: DBSV, November 2006

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2. Do these exceptions allow for making copy of a book without the publisher's permission?

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3. Do these exceptions allow for scanning books (in particular is an individual with visual impairment allowed to scan a book for him/herself, or does a special organization have to do it?)

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4. Do these exceptions allow for sharing books produced on accessible formats? (in particular is an individual with visual impairment allowed to share with friends books he/she scanned?)

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5. Are there special copyright provisions regarding accessible text books and other educational material?

In the field of education, a frame contract between the ministry of the state of Hessen and the federation of publishers ensures the delivery of source files to "media centers" -essentially schools for the blind- supplying children and students in mainstream education with accessible educational material. The other states of Germany have joined this frame contract.

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