Author are free to publish their work by themselves or transfer the exploitation rights to a publisher; e.g. Springer. In order to be entitled to make use of these rights, the publisher asks the author to sign a publishing agreement granting the publisher the sole right to reproduce, publish, distribute and make available to the public the work in print and electronic format. Authors and the publisher should always define their relationship in a publishing agreement. Springer offers a large variety of such contracts for all kind of works. Authors should contact their Springer publishing editor for more details.
Prerequisite of the transfer of exclusive publishing rights is that the author has not already signed such rights to third parties (e.g. another publisher) and that the work has not heretofore been published in whole or in part.
Consequence of having granted exclusive rights to Springer indicates also that an author agrees not to release with another publisher any publication similar to the work published with Springer.
Authors retain, in addition to uses permitted by law (e.g. U.S. Copyright Law, Section 107, Fair Use; German Copyright Act, Section 51, Fair Dealing) the right to communicate the content of the work to other scientists, to share the work with them in manuscript form, to perform or present the work or to use the content for non-commercial internal and educational purposes.