A new platform extending to all publishing houses for the licensing of book excerpts to German universities
At most German universities, students can download the materials they require for their lectures free of charge from a studying platform of the university. These platforms also contain a large number of extracts from books that are scanned on location by the lecturers for this purpose. This practice is based on § 52a of the German Copyright Act (UrhG), according to which works protected by copyright may be utilized in this way, subject to certain restrictions (max. 12% of the content).
According to an estimate by Booktex, a total of around 200,000 book extracts are generated in this way each semester for students at German universities. This amounts to around 400,000 extracts per year! The primary market for many publishing houses is strongly affected by this, with corresponding losses in sales.
What does Booktex offer the publishing houses?
With the platform www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de Booktex gives publishing houses the opportunity of offering their own content to universities above and beyond the provisions of § 52a of the German Copyright Act, while attaining a reasonable price for these services. When publishers provide their content for a suitable price themselves (or via Booktex), German law prohibits the universities from scanning this content; they must make use of the publishing houses’ licensing offer (cf. www.booktex.de/§52a-urhg)!
Booktex assumes the entire implementation of this offer for publishing houses – from securing the licensing agreements with the participating universities, to generation of the digital book extracts from the full text of the e-books, up to invoicing the licensing fees and distributing the revenue to the publishing houses. In view of the high operational complexity and the fragmented nature of such utilization, this would be uneconomical for individual publishing houses. As of January 2017, over 50 German-language publishers are already making use of this service from Booktex, with more than 50,000 titles on offer (see https://booktex.de/verlage-titel/).
Who can participate in Booktex?
The Booktex platform is open to all scientific and academic publishing houses. Content for posting on the website is submitted via ONIX metadata to Booktex, and the data is provided in the form of PDF files. The Booktex business model includes a basic fee for these services depending on the number of titles per publishing house, and a share of the turnover for Booktex on a commission basis.
What makes the Booktex platform attractive for universities?
For universities, the new platform provides a legally secure, convenient opportunity for utilizing excerpts from publications – even in cases where § 52a of the German Copyright Act does not come into effect, as in the case of existing license offers from the respective publishing houses.
University employees can select digital extracts from a stock of over 50,000 titles from more than 50 publishers, intuitively collate these by drag and drop on a page or chapter basis, and obtain the required extracts as PDF files for downloading within a matter of minutes. Students can either use the material collated by their lecturers online, download it in the form of PDF files, or – at their own expense – order a POD printout .
What revenue can publishing houses derive from the Booktex platform?
The license fee amounts to 1.00 to 9.00 eurocents per page, participant and semester, depending on the respective print book price and the number of pages. The average price for a single extract is approx. EUR 25. Despite the relatively low prices, the large number of call-ups (estimated at 400,000 annually!) yields a considerable sales volume. The main emphasis of usage is on the social sciences and humanities. Especially for publishing houses with titles in this field, the provision of material via Booktex opens up a highly attractive additional source of revenue.
How can my publishing house participate in Booktex?
Participation in the offer from Booktex requires conclusion of a publishing contract, in which the conditions of cooperation are set out in detail. We would be pleased to forward you this publishing contract on request, along with further information. Please contact:
Booktex GmbH, Dr. Bertram Salzmann, tel. +49 711 7829 555 21; email@example.com
Industriestr. 2, D-70565 Stuttgart, Germany
For further information: www.booktex.de / www.digitaler-semesterapparat.de