steinhauer in Sollfrank 2018
libraries and archives have to face. While in theory such official
institutions may even have a public mission to collect, preserve, and archive
digital material, in practice, copyright law largely prevents the execution of
this task, as Steinhauer explains.13 The legal expert introduces the example
of the German National Library, which was assigned the task since 2006 to make
back-up copies of all websites published within the .de sublevel domain, but
it turned out to be illegal.14 Identifying a deficiently legal situation when
it comes to collecting, archiving, and providing access to digital cultural
goods, Steinhauer even speaks of a “legal obligation to amnesia”.15 And it is
particularly striking that, from a legal perspective, the collecting of
digitalia is more strictly regulated than the collecting of books, for
example, where the property status of the m
rsistent denial of copyright. Neglecting the concerns of the
individual authors and artists for a moment was a necessary precondition in
order to make space for rethinking the future of cultural production.
Special thanks to Eric Steinhauer and all the artists and amateur librarians
who are taking care of our cultural memory.
1 Festival program online: Onassis Cultural Centre, “Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb
6 In German copyright law, for example, §17 and §19a grant the exclusive right
to reproduce, distribute, and make available online to the author. See also:
7 Eric Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie: Digitale Inhalte, Archive und
Urheberrecht,” _iRightsInfo_ (2013),
(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
8 In particu
11 See also §53 para. 1–3 of the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights
(UrhG), §42 para. 4 in the Austrian UrhG, and Article 19 of Swiss Copyright
12 Simon Stokes, _Art & Copyright_ (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2003).
13 Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie”.
14 This discrepancy between a state mandate for cultural preservation and
copyright law has only been fixed in 2018 with the introduction of a special
law, §16a DNBG.
15 Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie”.
16 Bodo Balazs, “The Genesis of Library Genesis: The Birth of a Global
Scholarly Shadow Library,” Nov. 4, 2014, _SSRN_ ,
Sept. 30, 201
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