Exploitation rights for examination papers


Works which have been issued in the context of university, state or church examinations are generally protected according to § 2 German Copyright Act (UrhG). Although this protection does not cover the scientific knowledge gained, it does indeed pertain to the representation and design of this knowledge as an individual intellectual act of creation.

Insofar, the exploitation rights for these works are the students' and they are free to grant rights of utalization at their own discretion. In particular, the publication of examination papers does not require any agreement on the part of the examining institution or the examiner resp. tutor of the work. Because of the inherent mandate that an examination paper is created independently by the student, a co-authorship and thus the jointly held right of exploitation according to § 8 UrhG, is not applicable.

Insofar as examination papers are produced within the context of an employment contract and without the context of independently performed scientific or artistic work, the copy right and with it the right of exploitation is restricted (§ 43 UrhG). The university decides about this.

Source: Letter of the Ministry of Education and Training, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia of July 7th 1999 (Az. 221-7514.90)