Intellectual property rights (IPR)

Intellectual property rights (IPR), commonly referred to as "copyright", are the most vital legal framework for scientific work. Austrian IPR law (Urheberrechtsgesetz UrhG) is the framework that governs the emergence of intellectual property and rights related to it in Austria. The structure and scope of Austrian IPR is explained by the platform, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice also provides an introductory overview (in German). The Open Access platform of the University of Vienna offers an introduction to the topics of moral rights and exploitation rights, the difference between them, and the IPR law's consequences for legal possibilities to make traditional research publications (such as papers and books) available Open Access.

Teaching and IPR

The question how copyrighted material can be used in research and especially in teaching is answered by the University of Vienna's guidelines on "Lehren mit (digitalen) Medien" (Teaching with (digital) media, in German) and the Vetmeduni Vienna's guidelines on "Urheberrecht für Lehrende" (IPR for teachers, in German). The University of Graz offers a current (2018) introduction to the topic in its guidelines on preparing open educational resources "Leitfaden für die Erstellung von Open Educational Resources" (in German).

IPR in an international context

These resources offer orientation for handling IPR issues within Austria, as copyright is subject to national legislation (territorial principle) and thus is different in every country. The validity of IPR claims beyond national borders is granted by international treaties. As research in the 21st century takes place in an international context and often also in digital space, other countries' IPR legislations can be relevant for the legal situation of (re)used or created material. The European Union Intellectual Property Office Observatory provides an overview of national specifics of European IPR laws. In addition to this, the EU is currently working on the Copyright in a Digital Single Market Directive by means of which IPR will be modernized, adapted to the realities of the digital world, and harmonized within the EU. The CREATe website of the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy offers an overview of the most controversially discussed aspects of the directive draft.

Image rights

The blog is run by a German lawyer and discusses questions of image rights, both from a data privacy and intellectual property perspective (in German). The website offers information about the legal situation of images and videos in Austria (in German). The "Checkliste 'Bildnutzung' in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten" (in German) provided by the office of the University of Vienna's Dean of Students provides information on the legal conditions of using images for research purposes in Austria.  The brochure "Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen für für Digitalisierungsprojekte von Gedächtnisinstitutionen" (in German) provides a German perspective on the legal status of digitized cultural heritage.


IPR in digital space

In digital space, not only traditional sources and publication formats such as papers and books are relevant for IPR questions, but also research data are gaining importance and require attention in the area of IPR. In what form data or databases are protected by copyright and IPR and what consequences this has on the possibilities to process and publish them is discussed by the DARIAH-DE guidelines for humanities researchers "Forschen in der digitalen Welt" (Research in a digital world, in German). The checklist "Copyright and Creator Rights in DH Projects" gives an international overview of issues to consider and sources to consult.