Happy New Month people. Here’s what’s new this month.
Changes to Copyright Laws for Research
As of March 1, 2018, the rules on the use of copyrighted works for education and research will be changed. The goal is to create more legal certainty for universities and researchers in times of digitization, according to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In the future, university teachers will be able to easily share copyrighted works with their students via learning platforms, scientists can analyze large volumes of texts with appropriate software and in addition, libraries can digitally send copies of scientific articles to individual orders. You can find more info on this on the Federal Ministry of Education and Research website.
Automatic emergency call system in new vehicles
From March 31, 2018, the eCall automatic emergency call system will become mandatory in all new EU car models. With the new system, the number of fatalities could be reduced by ten percent, the EU Commission estimates. In the event of an accident, eCall should automatically dial the standard European 112 emergency number. Helpers should be able to find their way to the accident faster – even if the driver is unconscious. Cars must be equipped with a GPS receiver, antenna, crash sensors and intercom for this purpose. Auto manufacturers are required to include this new system in all cars built starting from March 31.
From March 1st when you apply for a passport, you’ll get the new one, that is said to be harder to fake. The new passport looks to the naked eye exactly like the current passport and will cost one Euro more at €60. The new passport will fasten the identification process around the world.
Smokers will have to fork out more money to enjoy their cigarettes. With most cigarette manufacturers paying close to 30% of their revenue to taxes, many have decided to increase the price of their product or reduce the amount in a packet. For example a packet of Malboro that previously contained 23 cigarette sticks, will henceforth only contain 22 sticks.
New Number Plates for Two-Wheelers
If you own a scooter or moped, then you better get the new number plate before you dust it off for the spring. The colour of the number plates this year is blue, which will make it easier to identify those still using the old black number plates.
Limitless online streaming in the EU
In the case of online subscription services, like Netflix, SkyGo and Amazon Prime so-called geo-blocking will no longer apply. According to the NRW consumer association, paid streaming services for films, music or video games will from 20 March 2018 be available in all other EU countries without the providers charging additional fees allowed. So if you pay for Netflix in Germany, when you go on vacation in France, you won’t need a different account nor need to pay an extra fee to use the service.
Deutsche Post Reduces Fees for Cash on Delivery (Nachnahme)
If you have ever ordered for stuff online and chosen to pay on delivery, you might have noticed the exorbitant pricing. The Deutsche Post would usually charge two fees for such a delivery, namely: the COD delivery and the delivery fee. But from this month onwards, Deutsche Post will merge these fees and only charge a single fee. We hope this will lower the price for such a delivery.