Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management enables authors to regulate the access, use and exploitation of works in digital form. It is an important element of the agreements that TIB concludes with publishing companies and right holders.

Several electronically delivered publications or pay-per-view documents are equipped with DRM protection. This restricts the time allowed for accessing to 30 days and limits printing and forwarding options.

Which documents feature DRM protection?

Many publishing companies stopped using DRM protection, and supply their documents only with a digital watermark consisting of a TIB delivery note and the name of the individual who placed the order. Still some publishing companies supply documents with DRM protection. You will find a list of those companies here:

If you have any questions concerning digital rights management, the Customer Service will be happy to help.

How can you use a DRM-protected document or object?

You will receive an email with the encrypted document as an attachment.

  • The forwarding of the email with the still unopened document to, for example, a recipient in the same institution is only possible once.
  • When the document has been opened once on a particular PC, the rights to that document are "attached" to that PC.
  • After the initial opening of the email attachment, you have access authorisation for 30 days – the rights for the usage of the document expire and the document can not be opened thereafter.
  • You can open the document as often as you like within the 30 days, but you can only print it out twice.
  • Storage is prohibited.

Which technical aspects are involved in DRM?

  • The document is encrypted using special software.
  • According to the licence agreements, authorisations are set and stored on a rights server.
  • Users can access the document by means of a web publisher plug-in.

All of the data required for this is stored on a local TIB rights server; this is not forwarded to third parties.

What do you need in order to be able to use a DRM-protected document?

In order to be able to receive DRM deliveries, an Adobe Reader plug-in must be installed on the computer where the document is to be opened. TIB uses the DRM system FileOpen WebPublisher by FileOpenSystems.

The following options are available for installing the Adobe Reader plug-in free of charge:

  • Click on the test document. If the plug-in is not yet installed on your computer, you will be directed to the FileOpenSystems website where the plug-in can be downloaded.
  • Or simply click on Here you will find plug-ins for a variety of operating systems.

In order to test whether the installation has been successful, please click on the test document again.


Customer Service

Our Customer Service is available from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 16:30.

Fax: +49 511 762-8998
Address: Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) – German National Library of Science and Technology, Welfengarten 1 B, 30167 Hannover