Using search results

All digital content that can be found in the German Digital Library must be provided with a notice about the possibilities of use, so that the users of the German Digital Library know what they are allowed to do with the content and what they are not allowed to do.

How to apply search results

The data providers have to label all provided digital content with a note on usage permissions in order to let people who use the German Digital Library know what they may and may not do with the content.

To do this, the data providers must either provide a rights statement or a Creative Commons license. The rights statements and licenses only apply to the digital objects shown in the German Digital Library.

The German Digital Library´s Rights Statements

Most digital objects in the German Digital Library are not (or no longer) copyright protected. This is clarified by the so-called Public Domain Mark. It identifies the content as completely freely reusable public domain material. A much smaller proportion of digital objects in the German Digital Library are (still) protected by copyright. These objects are labelled with more Restrictive rights statements or Creative Commons licenses: About the rights information in the German Digital Library

What are Creative Commons licenses?

Creative Commons licenses specify the conditions under which digital content labelled with such  license can be used beyond what is permitted under statutory copyright law. In cases where a digital object is marked with such license, no further agreement with a rights holder about using the object is needed . This makes creative and innovative uses much easier. Creative Commons licenses are also internationally adapted to the respective national legal system. They are also machine-readable, making it possible to search for digital content with specific licenses.

Users can identify the most important conditions for using the content by the name of the license. The simplest Creative Commons license only requires the author or rights holder to be named.

However, further restrictions can be imposed, depending on

  • whether the rights holder wants to allow commercial use or not,
  • whether or not adaptations should be permitted and
  • whether or not adaptations must be passed on under the same conditions.

There are a total of six different version 4.0 Creative Commons licenses, which are adapted to  German law.