Media collection of the former IWF Wissen und Medien gGmbH

The TIB provides the films of the former IWF Wissen und Medien gGmbH in the TIB AV Portal. The media stock was transferred to TIB in November 2012. A total of over 3,000 IWF films can already be accessed online; other titles are being added continuously as soon as we are able to clarify the situation concerning rights. A wealth of visual material from the realms of medicine, psychology and ethnology will not be posted online for ethical or legal reasons; some, however, can be purchased on DVD or viewed at TIB. IWF’s analogue film heritage is also accessible once again: a four-plate editing table for 16 mm and 35 mm film copies is available at TIB to enable users to view the films.

TIB strategy for clarifying rights

The legal situation surrounding each film first has to be reviewed before we can make IWF films available to the public online or in any other form. In many cases, TIB has to renegotiate rights with the holders and agree upon the discontinuation of existing licence restrictions. Only then can films be made freely accessible online, enabling their future application for types of use that are, as yet, unknown to us today. After all, there is no telling which services will be commonplace in a few years’ time. We attempt to convince the holders of rights to make the films available under the Open Access licence terms of Creative Commons. Renegotiating these rights is a very time-consuming process, but a worth while one: the majority of right holders agree to the use of their films under Open Access licences; they abstain from licence restrictions, and are willing to grant TIB further rights. These successes show us that this – rather protracted – procedure is the right approach because, with Open Access licences, users are granted maximum rights to the extent provided by law. This way, the films can be used in a variety of manners, fostering scientific exchange in the digital environment. We therefore ask for patience concerning enquiries that we are unable to satisfy immediately owing to the legal situation.

How can you access the IWF media collection?

In many cases, IWF films can be retrieved directly via the AV Portal. If the desired medium cannot be found or if it is not available online, you may send a query to TIB concerning the availability of the film, viewing the material or purchasing it on another carrier medium:

Clarification of rights and sublicensing IWF media

Films that are available online in the AV Portal may as a rule by sublicensed for use in film or television and for public screening. If media are not available online, you may also submit a direct enquiry to TIB with regard to sublicensing for the desired purpose.


Paul Feindt

Thomas Werner