Digital exception for education and scientific research

What is the digital exception for education and scientific research?

Insofar as this is exclusively done for the purpose of illustration in the context of education or for scientific research, the following two exceptions to the copyright are allowed:

  • the reproduction of complete articles or works of visual art (or a fragment of them), or the reproduction of short fragments of other works on an analogue or digital support to a digital support, such as DVD, CD-ROM, hard disk or USB stick... ;
  • the making available of protected works in a closed network (only accessible for students, professors and scientific researchers) of an education or research institution.

In both cases, the reproduction or the making available must be justified by the intended non-profit-generating purpose and must not prejudice the normal exploitation of the work. Moreover, the source must be mentioned except when this is not possible.

The Copyright Act provides for an equitable remuneration for the right-holding authors, publishers, performing artists and producers. Much to the disappointment of the rights holders this has still yet to be implemented, although the digital exceptions came into effect immediately. They are therefore currently authorised without the rights holders being able to receive any compensation.

When it comes about, the remuneration must be proportionate to the actions carried out (reproduction or making available).