Language of document :

Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 11 September 2014 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesgerichtshof — Germany) — Technische Universität Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG

(Case C-117/13) 1

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Directive 2001/29/EC — Copyright and related rights — Exceptions and limitations — Article 5(3)(n) — Use for the purpose of research or private study of works and other subject-matter — Book made available to individual members of the public by dedicated terminals in publicly accessible libraries — Meaning of work not subject to ‘purchase or licensing terms’ — Right of the library to digitise a work contained in its collection in order to make it available to users by dedicated terminals — Making the work available by dedicated terminals which permit it to be printed out on paper or to be stored on a USB stick)

Language of the case: German

Referring court


Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Technische Universität Darmstadt

Defendant: Eugen Ulmer KG

Operative part of the judgment

1.    The concept of ‘purchase or licensing terms’ provided for in Article 5(3)(n) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society must be understood as requiring that the rightholder and an establishment, such as a publicly accessible library, referred to in that provision must have concluded a licensing agreement in respect of the work in question that sets out the conditions in which that establishment may use that work.

2.    Article 5(3)(n) of Directive 2001/29, read in conjunction with Article 5(2)(c) of that directive, must be interpreted to mean that it does not preclude Member States from granting to publicly accessible libraries covered by those provisions the right to digitise the works contained in their collections, if such act of reproduction is necessary for the purpose of making those works available to users, by means of dedicated terminals, within those establishments.

3.    Article 5(3)(n) of Directive 2001/29 must be interpreted to mean that it does not extend to acts such as the printing out of works on paper or their storage on a USB stick, carried out by users from dedicated terminals installed in publicly accessible libraries covered by that provision. However, such acts may, if appropriate, be authorised under national legislation transposing the exceptions or limitations provided for in Article 5(2)(a) or (b) of that directive provided that, in each individual case, the conditions laid down by those provisions are met.


1 OJ C 171, 15.6.2013.