BfR: Copyright must also apply to the scientific studies of state research institutes
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) obtained a temporary injunction order against the user of an internet platform which prohibited him from publishing and distributing a scientific paper belonging to the BfR. The BfR makes reference here to copyright law, according to which third parties may not publish the work of others without their consent. The work of the BfR distinguishes itself through its scientific, research-based approach, which runs through all of the Institute’s areas of responsibility. Against this background, it is of essential importance for the BfR to establish who has the right of first publication to its intellectual property. The goal of the legal dispute is to clarify this issue. For formal reasons, the Regional Court of Cologne has now lifted the temporary injunction order, even though a decision on the fundamental copyright issues has not yet been reached. “Intellectual property must remain intellectual property, even in the age of the internet,” says BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Hensel. “The BfR is therefore standing by its legal position and intends to obtain clarification in the principal proceedings, irrespective of the temporary injunction proceedings”.
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In other temporary injunction proceedings, the rights of the BfR in this matter were upheld by the decisions of the Regional Court of Cologne (LG Köln, 15.12.2016 - 14 O 302/15) and Higher Regional Court of Cologne (OLG Köln, 06.12.2017 - 6 U 8/17). The paper in question is a six-page synoptical BfR opinion written in German about the IARC monograph on glyphosate of 4 September 2015. This opinion is not an expert report. The detailed scientific assessment contains Addendum I, which was also drafted by the BfR in 2015. Addendum I and all professional conclusions have been freely accessible to the general public since autumn 2015:
About the BfR
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.
This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.