The 'TU Darmstadt' case - a landmark ruling for libraries
EIFL webinar on the landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice (2014) on the digital use of copyright protected works in libraries

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Event Date: 08 Jun 2016

Webinar: Learn how the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in the case known as ‘TU Darmstadt’ affects the work of libraries in European Union member states, and beyond. The guest speaker is Dr Nils Rauer, who represented the defendant in the case. Quick link to registration.

WHAT IS the 'TU Darmstadt' ruling?

In September 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a landmark ruling in the case of Technische Universität Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) v Eugen Ulmer KG on the use of copyright protected works in libraries.

The ruling, that clarifies important provisions in the European InfoSoc Directive, is seen as a significant boost for European libraries to digitize works in their collections and to make them available in library reading rooms. They may do so irrespective of whether the publisher offers a digital version of the book or not.

Notably the court also referred to an ‘ancillary right’ of establishments, such as libraries, to digitize these works. Library users may also print or store parts of works to USB sticks subject to payment of a fee.

The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH), that had referred the case to the ECJ in 2012, decided on the merits of the case in April 2015. The decision of the ECJ is binding on all EU member states.

In November 2015, Poland became the first country in Europe to legislate for the TU Darmstadt ruling.

It's an important decision also for libraries outside Europe because, as we know from the WIPO Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives (2015), developments in EU law have an influence on domestic laws beyond the EU.


The webinar will present the key facts of the TU Darmstadt case, the main points of the European Court of Justice ruling, and implications for library digitization projects in Europe.

It will also briefly explain the procedural background – the relationship between national and EU law, and the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Dr Nils Rauer, our guest speaker, is a Partner at the Frankfurt office of international law firm, Hogan Lovells. Dr Rauer represented the defendant, TU Darmstadt, in the case.


The session is open to librarians and colleagues in any country. If the webinar is oversubscribed, priority will be given to librarians in EIFL-partner countries.

The webinar will also be recorded for viewing later online.


Date: Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Time: 9am UTC (9am Dakar / 10am Dublin / 11am Frankfurt / 11am Warsaw / 12 noon Vilnius / 1pm Yerevan. Check the time in your country by going here and comparing UTC to your time with your city/country time. The session will last for one hour, including time for questions.

How to register: To register, please click here. You will also find information on how to log on to the webinar.

How the webinar works

All you will need to join the webinar is an Internet-connected computer with sound (and maybe headphones, if you are in a busy room).

We will use Adobe Connect to connect. To check that your browser will successfully access the session, please click here. If the first three steps of the test pass, then you are ready to participate in the webinar.

The webinar is kindly hosted by Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland.

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