Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Germany

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Location of Germany


Countries, areas, and entities Standard copyright term
(based on authors' deaths)
Other copyright terms
(based on publication and creation dates)
Copyright exemptions Notes

Commons-logo.svg Germany copyright overview
(Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Copyright law of Germany)
70 p.m.a.: life + 70 years[1]
  • Anonymous works: 70 years after publication (if author never disclosed)
  • Publication right: 25 years from first publication or first public performance if copyright has expired before such publication or performance, or if the work has never been protected in Germany and the author died more than 70 years before the first publication[2]
  • Berne/UCC: yes
  • Until year end: Yes[3]
{{PD-old-auto|author died 1944 or earlier}} {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}


See also Category:PD Germany license tags

Germany Overview

Freedom of panorama

Main page: COM:FOP#Germany.

Objects permanently located in public that can be photographed from public (accessible) grounds, without devices such as a ladder, can be used by its photographer for any purpose, regardless of whether they display an artwork/building or not (section 59 UrhG). This right is called Panoramafreiheit (freedom of panorama). The alteration of images uploaded under this provision is generally prohibited, though exceptions apply (section 62.1 and 62.2 UrhG).

Official works

By German law, documents are in the public domain (gemeinfrei) if they have been published as part of a law or official decree or edict, or if they have been released as an official announcement or for public information. The relevant law is section 5 of the UrhG. The first and most important sentence states:

Gesetze, Verordnungen, amtliche Erlasse und Bekanntmachungen sowie Entscheidungen und amtlich verfaßte Leitsätze zu Entscheidungen genießen keinen urheberrechtlichen Schutz.

For more information about German copyright laws, see the meta-page Wikipedia:Bildrechte on the German Wikipedia.


  1. § 64 Urheberrechtsgesetz[1], as amended by the Law of 17 December 2008
  2. § 71 Urheberrechtsgesetz[2]
  3. § 69 Urheberrechtsgesetz[3]

See also

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