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Legal deposit submission

The Law regarding the German National Library (DNBG (PDF, 40KB, Not barrier-free file.)) of 22 June 2006 and the Legal Deposit Regulation (PflAV) of 17 October 2008 describe the tasks of the German National Library and also the regulations governing the obligation to submit deposit copies. These affect both commercial and also non-commercial publishers, self or private publishers, institutes, associations, companies - i.e. all kinds of corporate bodies - who are entitled to disseminate the media work or to make it publicly accessible, and whose headquarters, place of business or main domicile is in Germany.

All physical and non-physical media publications falling within the collection mandate, including all text-based, graphic and audio representations, need to be deposited. The physical media publications (on paper, electronic data carriers and other carriers) are to be submitted

  • in their entirety and in perfect and unused condition
  • in the version readily available on the market (if multiple versions are available, the most durable)
  • complete with binders etc.
  • complete with annual title pages, tables of contents, indices and
  • together with all other items which belong to the main work being submitted.

These include monographs, serial publications (newspapers, periodicals, loose-leaf works), maps, sheet music, sound recordings and electronic publications.
The following need not be submitted: media publications of which fewer than 25 copies are issued, reissues containing no content-related or bibliographic changes including higher thousands if copies of the original edition were submitted.

Legal requirements

The following points are taken from the Law regarding the German National Library (DNBG (PDF, 40KB, Not barrier-free file.)).

§ 14 DNBG: Obligation to submit:

  • two deposit copies if the physical media publication was published in Germany
  • one deposit copy of sheet of music which is only intended to be loaned or hired
  • one deposit copy of media published abroad if the owner of the original distribution rights has his headquarters, a place of business or main domicile in Germany
  • one copy of online publications

§ 15 DNBG: Obliged to submit deposit copies:

  • are persons who are entitled to disseminate the media work or to make it publicly accessible and whose headquarters, place of business or main domicile is in Germany

§ 16 DNBG: Submission procedure:

  • full versions of the media publications should be submitted to the Library in perfect condition and in a form which permits usage for an indefinite period free of charge and at the submitter's own expense, within one week of their being distributed.

§ 17 DNBG: Duty of disclosure:

  • upon being so requested by the Library, persons obliged to submit deposit copies shall provide all necessary information regarding fulfilment of their obligations

§ 18 DNBG: Subsidy:

  • a subsidy may be granted, upon application, for physical media publications

§ 19 DNBG: Fines:

  • Infringements of the regulations may be punished in the form of a fine if e.g. a media publication is submitted incorrectly, in an incomplete version or too late.

The work of acquiring and processing the physical media publications is shared across the Frankfurt and Leipzig sites of the German National Library based on the Library's regional media processing principles. The German National Library site to which deposit copies should be made and further information regarding legal deposit submissions can be found on the FAQ page. The Deutsches Musikarchiv acquires sheet music and sound recordings in Leipzig.

Last update: 09.02.2015


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