Onleihe in Germany

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Onleihe international

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Compatible browsers - streaming

Created on: 2020/01/25
Last updated on: 2021/03/17

To guarantee the functionality of streaming on your device, please make sure that you always have the latest version of your Internet browser installed.

We do not rule out the possibility that the streaming will work with other browsers and operating systems.

  • It is not possible to stream eVideos and eAudios in the browser of mobile devices.

  • The browsers "Internet Explorer", "Opera" and "Safari" are generally not compatible.

BrowserMinimum requirement of the operating system


  • Windows 8 / 10
  • macOS Mojave 10.14


  • Windows 8 / 10
  • macOS Mojave 10.14
  • LinuxMint 17 (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS based)


  • Windows 10
  • macOS Sierra 10.12

Compatible devices

Here you find information on which media are usable on which device.

Computer / Laptop

Operating system

eBook - eMagazine - ePaper

ePub / PDF for Onleihe:reader

eBook - eMagazine - ePaper

ePub / PDF for ADE

eAudio - eMusic - eVideo

Browser stream


Online course

Windows 8 / 10

Yes (tick)

Yes (tick) 

Yes (tick)

Yes (tick)


Yes (tick)

 No (minus) 2

Yes (tick)

Yes (tick)

Linux (64-bit) 8

Yes (tick)

 Yes (tick) 1

Yes (tick)

Yes (tick)

Onleihe App

Operating system


eBook - eMagazine - ePaper

ePub / PDF

eAudio - eMusic

Stream / Download




Online course

iOS 11 and up 7

Smartphone / Tablet / iPod touch

Yes (tick) 

 Yes (tick) 

No (minus)

 Yes (tick)

Android 5.1 and up 5,6

Smartphone / Tablet

 Yes (tick) 

 Yes (tick) 

No (minus)

 Yes (tick)

Sonstige mobile Geräte über den Browser

Operating system


eBook - eMagazine - ePaper

ePub / PDF für ADE

eAudio - eMusic - eVideo






  Yes (tick) 3

 No (minus)

No (minus)




Smartphone / Tablet

with Browser and

reader app

  Yes (tick) 4

 No (minus)

 Yes (tick)

Windows 8 / 10


Yes (tick)

Yes (tick)

  Yes (tick)

1With the software Wine.
WineHQ: https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=6326

Using the Onleihe with Adobe Digital Editions on MacOS Computers is only possible in specific cases due to conflicts between ADE and MacOS. 


Directly lending via the eReader Onleihe of eMagazines and ePaper is not possible. But you can transfer the titles from your PC to the eReader. 


Older iOS and Android devices are not compatible with the Onleihe app. To use older devices with the Onleihe you have to use your browser and an external reader app like i. e. PocketBook reader to read downloaded books.

5We received feedback that a login is not possible with Android 7.1.x devices. More about it here.

Devices with an Intel Atom cpu (x86 architecture) can't be used with the Onleihe app. More about it here.

7iOS 10.3.x on 32-bit devices is no longer supported by the current version of the Onleihe app. More about it here.
8Google stopped supporting the Widevine software component for 32-bit Linux systems on May 31, 2021. Widevine is necessary to be able to play media encrypted with copy protection. More about it here.

Accessibility in the Onleihe

Some informations on accessibility using the Onleihe
Is the Onleihe accessible? The answer is "yes". Most of the media offered through the Onleihe are accessible for handicapped persons. We are working
constantly to improve this service.

Web Onleihe
You can navigate the website of your Onleihe using screen readers and borrow a title.

eBooks and Adobe Digital Editions - PDF and ePub
Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 and above are designed to work with assistive technologies on Mac and Windows such an JAES, NVDA, Windows-Eyes or
Voice Over for Mac. Version 3.0 and above are designed with support for full keyboard controls (tab navigation and shortcuts), improved text enlargement,
and support for high-contrast modes. Shortcuts are listed in the Getting Started eBook that is installed along with the Adobe Digital Editions.

Streaming eAudios, eVideos and eMusic via PC:
The streaming web player can be controlled via screen readers. The web player starts playback as soon as it's opened, so that no further action on the
user's side is necessary. The "space bar" can be pressed to pause the playback. All buttons as well as the current position in the audiobook, are read
aloud by mouse over.

Onleihe App
The Onleihe app is currently is accessible, as the menu and navigational elements support the assistance systems used within the operating systems
themselves. We are working on further improving upon those elements. Due to technical limitations of the DRM systems, the usage of screen readers is
currently not supported. eBooks can therefore not be read aloud.

Accessibility and DRM
The access of all ebooks which are provided by the Onleihe to all users is our goal. The digital rights managment we are obliged to use, is one probably
the biggest reasons which makes it difficult to reach that goal. However as of today, a lot of the media on the Onleihe can be accessed easily and we are
working constantly to improve this service.

ACSM-File (URLlink.acsm)

I recieved an ACSM file (URLLink.acsm) when downloading an eBook, what do I do with it?

The acsm file contains information about the download and the copy protection of your eBook.

Open this file using the software Adobe Digital Editions.

The software downloads the eBook afterwards and you can read the eBook on the PC or transfer it to a mobile device.

Open the file by right-clicking on it and select Open with Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe ID

What is an Adobe ID and what do I need it for?
The digital rights management of the company Adobe has established itself as the standard for protecting eBooks. Most eBooks which can be bought or
borrowed through various plattformsuse this kind of copyright protection.
To be able to use these eBooks you need a registration for Adobe: the Adobe ID. You have to authorize all the devices you would like to use for reading wit
h this Adobe ID. That's for example: your PC, smartphone, tablet or eReader.
If all your devices are authorized with your Adobe ID, you can use your eBooks on any or all of them at the same time. You can authorize up to 6 devices
with your Adobe ID.
Click here to register an Adobe ID for free.

Software-update (on the device) and the Adobe ID
An update to the device or the used operating system may have an effect on the Adobe ID.
Since the Adobe ID allows for up to 6 registered devices per Adobe ID, it connects each time to the Adobe Servers when an ID is authorized with a device,
to exchange encoded information about the used operating system, drivers and software.
If the previous update causes too much of a difference between what was previously linked to the Adobe ID and what is now being authorized, then this
may be interpreted as a new device which causes the device counter to go up.
Ideally you deuathorize your Adobe ID before you start a bigger software update. This deletes the connection between the device and the Adobe ID, so
there is no, possibly wrong interpretation, about the state of the device.

Click here to get support from Adobe regarding the Adobe ID.
To contact the Adobe support via Adobe chat to reset your Adobe ID for example, please pick "contact us" there.
You have to log in with your Adobe ID there, to contact the Adobe support.

Do I have to pay for using the Onleihe?

The Onleihe is a service of your local library free of additional charge.

You may be required to pay an annual fee for the general use of your library and all related services.

You can get information on this annual fee from your library.

DRM-Digital Rights Management

What does DRM mean?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management.

In order to protect eBooks against unauthorized copying, most publishers protect their ebooks with a digital rights management system (DRM).

The DRM determines how the reader can use the acquired eBook. It can prevent copying, sharing and printing the protected eBook.

Whether an eBook receives a DRM protection is decided by the publisher or the author.

There are two kinds of DRM:

Hard DRM

  • Technical encryption.
  • To open an eBook the help of an additional software like "Adobe Digital Editions" is needed.
  • A registration for an Adobe ID is necessary.

Soft DRM

  • Digital watermark.
  • In case of illegal spreading of content, the original owner can be traced via the watermark.
  • Additional software or an Adobe ID are not necessary.

The Onleihe uses two hard DRMs which are provided by the companies Adobe (Adobe DRM) and TEA (CARE DRM).

This kind of DRM also allows to set the loan period of an eBook.

Thus, Onleihe, libraries and publishers can ensure that the eBook can no longer be used after the end of the loan period.

Early return of eAudios

Created on: 2021/05/20
Last updated on: 2021/05/20

An early return of eAudios is currently not offered.

An early return for exclusively streamed eAudios would currently be technically feasible, the option of returning eAudio for downloaded eAudio has not yet been implemented by the copy protection provider. We are dependent on our external provider here.

In order to avoid the resulting confusion in the use between stream and download, no early return is currently possible.
Basically, it is planned to offer the early return of eAudios in the future and after the optimization of the eAudios, the topic will be taken up with the highest priority.
However, we cannot give an exact date.

ePaper publication

Created on: 2020/07/01
Last updated: 2021/05/04

  • Daily newspapers are available from 06:00 a.m. to 09:00 a.m. from Monday to Saturday. The second ePaper publication begins on Saturday at 08:00 a.m., and includes eMagazines such as "Der Spiegel" and "Focus".
  • The Sunday newspapers are available from around 09:00 a.m.

If ePapers or eMagazines are not provided by the publishers on time, they can no longer be taken into account by the processes on that day.

ePub - Format for ebooks

What does ePub mean?

ePub stands for electronic publication and is an open format for eBooks that supports DRM.

Unlike PDF, the ePub format is able to display text on any device, as it can adjust to the actual screen size.

The ePub is especially suited for eBooks such as novels, as they consist mostly of text.

Expand the loan period

Can the loan period of a title be extended?

No, the loan period can not be changed, because the digital titles of the Onleihe are protected by digital rights management.

We are bound by the publishers to use the DRM for all our titles.

  • You can, of course, borrow an eBook again after the end of the loan period.
  • Furthermore, you can place a reservation on a title you currently have already borrowed.

Flexible loan periods

You can choose the duration of the loan period before borrowing a title. The maximum amount of time is determined by your library.

A selection of loan periods is provided with the following media types:

  • eBook
  • eAudio
  • eMusic
  • eVideo

You are not able to specify the loan period for ePaper and eMagazines as it has been defined by the publishers. Therfore your library is also not able to
change it.

How to return a title early

Created on: 2020/07/01
Last updated on: 2021/03/17

An early return of a borrowed title before the end of the loan period is possible for the following media types:

  • eBooks
  • eMagazines
  • ePaper

In order for a title to be returned early, it must be downloaded first.

In the case of the Onleihe app, the title must be loaded in the app if an external app is used for reading, provided this app does not support an early return.

And only if you selected the format ePub or PDF for Adobe Digital Editions.
An early return of a borrowed title before the end of the loan period is not possible for the following media types:

  • eAudio

Why isn’t there a return button in the user’s account next to the title?
The return has to take place where the licence is ultimately used and saved. That way the licence distribution can be sure that the copy is returned and cannot be used on this device.

Return of english titles
The early return of a title from the supplier Baker & Taylor is not possible, due to technical differences in the setup of the DRM system.

Why is it not possible to end the loan period of an eAudio early?
An early return is currently not implemented for technical reasons. If an audio track is streamed, it can be returned ahead of time, whereas a downloaded offline track can not.

This is incomprehensible to the users.

The return can be carried out using the following programmes/apps which have been tested and verified:

Adobe Digital Editions
To return your eBook early, open up Adobe Digital Editions.
Right-click on the eBook that you want to return and select "Return borrowed item" ("Ausgeliehenes Medium zurückgeben"). The eBook will be removed
from your device and your Onleihe account, and can be borrowed by other users.

Tolino eReader
You can return a title with any Tolino eReader. The firmware version 1.9.0 and above is required.
Tap and hold the title you wish to return, then choose "Return" from the pop-up menu. The title will be available for the next user and disappear from your

Press the "My Media" button in the main side navigation. Afterwards the app will jump directly to "on the device". Here press the context menu of the title
you want to return, and then choose "Return early".
It is requiremed that the title has already been downloaded to your device. If this has not yet been done, you are prompted to "Load" the title first.

Licence information

In "Copy Information" on the detail page of the title you can see the total amount of licences of a title available in your Onleihe.

Furthermore how many are available at the moment and when you would be in line in case you want to place a hold on the title.

The given date may change if users give titles back early.

Media formats of the Onleihe

The following formats are currently used in the Onleihe:

  • eBook & eMagazine & ePaper: PDF or ePub
  • eAudio & eMusic: audio stream or audio download
  • eVideo: video stream

eBooks in PDF format have fixed line and page breaks. eBooks with tables, graphics and pictures are especially suited for the usage of the PDF format.
However, due to the fixed page layout, PDF eBooks are less suitable for mobile devices with smaller displays.
When choosing the format, please notice that currently two PDF formats are available. Only one of the two PDFs is readable on mobile devices.

The ePub format is suitable for any reader, as it can adjust to any screen size. It is especially useful with pure textbooks, such as novels.

Audio Stream / Video Stream
Audios and videos which are used as stream via the Onleihe-App or the browser are available in this format.

Audio Download
Audios can only be downloaded via the Onleihe app. A special format is used to ensure copyright protection. Therefore, the titles may only be used within
the build in eAudio player.

Media wishes

If you have a title you wish to be bought for your Onleihe please contact the Onleihe you are a member of or your library directly.

You can contact your library at any time via email if you click the "Contact"- button on your Onleihe-Website.

We recommend that you provide your library with more than a book title. Additional information such as: author, publisher, and the ISBN help the personnel with acquiring the title.

Not every book by every publisher can be bought by your library, because not every publisher makes their eBooks available for borrowing.

Additionally some publishers may make new releases only available to libraries after a certain period of time.

This period can vary and last up to 12 months and in individual cases longer.

Number of loans, reservations and loan period

Who sets the number of loans, reservations and the loan period for my Onleihe?

The number of maximum loans and reservations, as well as the maximum possible loan period for each media type, is governed by each library or consortium.

If you would like to have the loan period increased, please send this inquiry directly to your library.

Plus title

With "Plus title" we describe titles that are under public domain.

They don't count towards your maximum number of loans and are always available to borrow.

Series titles not available

Some titles are provided with exclusive rights and can not be offered.
The publisher and / or author decide if the title is released for the Onleihe.

User ratings

Where are the user ratings displayed?


User ratings are displayed for each title on its detail page in the top right corner and in the "Info" tab under "user rating".

The rating is based on the well-known 5-star system and indicates the average.
The more stars are chosen, the better the users rated a title. You can see the exact value of the average rating by the number above the star in the top right corner of a title's detail page.

In addition, the number of all evaluations made for a title across all Onleihe sites is displayed in the "Info" tab under "User evaluation".


Within the Onleihe-App the ratings are already displayed in the various result lists in the right top corner.

How can I submit a user rating?

User ratings can be given for each borrowed title in your own account or directly after the loan on the title's detail page.

There you will see five gray stars that have not yet been filled in under the heading "Rate". If you move the mouse pointer over the stars, a message appears telling you how many stars you have currently selected.

If you are satisfied with the selection, simply click on the corresponding star to give your rating.

User ratings may only be send while using the web-onleihe. The same function is still in development for the app.

How is the average rating calculated?

The ratings of a title are beeing update once a week (every saturday). Here, all rating from all Onleihe-systems are beeing collected and saved.

Afterwards the displayed average rating is beeing calculated by:

  • Generating the sum of all ratings and dividing it by the number of ratings
  • following a multiplication by 10

The displayed stars and hence the average rating are calculated based on this value. Which means an average rating of 30 to 39 is displayed with 3 stars,

above 39 it is displayed with 4 stars, and so on.

Using an example:

  • The title "Forest" has 100 ratings
  • The sum of all ratings is 342
  • The sum (342) divided by the number of ratings (100) is: 3,42
  • Multiplied by 10 make it: 34,2 als the ratings-value
  • Using the above mentioned logic to display stars, the title will be shown with 3 full stars as the average rating


The watchlist provides a place where you can collect titles you would like to borrow at a later date.

It's solely a list to keep an eye on certain titles. Titles on the watchlist are not reserved or borrowed in any kind.

You are able to add up to 100 titles to your watchlist. In order to use the watchlist on your Onleihe, you have to be logged in.

Why is not every title available as eBook?

Not every title is available as eBook on the Onleihe, for example because of missing sales rights from the publisher or author, or the title is not in the eBook collection of the library.

divibib regularily receives requests why not every title is available as eBook.

There are several points to mention why that is:

  • The library decides which title they want to buy and offer in the Onleihe.
  • Missing rights to publish the printed version as eBook.
  • Missing rights to lend the book, only rights to sell it.
  • Missing contract with divibib

eAudio and eMusic

Here you will find everything you need to know about the media types "eAudio" and "eMusic":

What is eAudio and eMusic

eAudios are digital audio books and eMusic is digital music that you can borrow from your Onleihe.

Format and technical possibilities of use

eAudios and eMusic titles have the format mp3 and can be used by:

  • streaming via your PC
  • streaming or downloading with the Onleihe app

More information on the compatibility of the media types with different devices can be found in our overview: What works on which device.

Copy protection: The digital rights management

All audio files of the Onleihe have a copyright protection: A digital rights management.

Therefore you may only use the media in the ways described under technical possibilities of use.

An early return of this media type is currently not possible for technical reasons. More about it here.


Here you will find everything you need to know about the media type "eBook":

What are eBooks?

The term "eBook" is a short form of "electronic book". An eBook is an electronic file that contains the content of a book.

Advantages of eBooks:
(plus) They do not require space on your bookshelf.
(plus) They can be bought or borrowed at any time of the day.
(plus) They do not need any paper or ink.
(plus) They can have many additional functions:

  • Search the whole content by terms.
  • Mark text passages.
  • Create notes.
  • Look up terms in integrated lexika and dictionaries.

Disadvantages of eBooks

(minus) They lack the feel, the smell and the rustling while turning a page.
(minus) For eBooks you need a reading device with a power supply.
(minus) Purchased eBooks can not be legally distributed to third parties.

eBook formats available on the Onleihe

The following eBook formats are used on the Onleihe:

  • ePub: The ePub format is suitable for every reading device because it can adapt to every screen size. It works especially good for pure
    textbooks, such as novels and narrations.
  • PDF: eBooks in the portable document format (short: PDF) have fixed line breaks and page breaks. Books with tables, graphics and pictures are
    mostly available as PDF. However, the fixed page layout makes PDF eBooks less suitable for mobile devices with smaller screens.
Technical possibilities of use

eBooks can be read on a vast variety of devices:

  • Tablets and smartphones: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be read on tablets and smartphones. There are Onleihe apps for iOS and Android
    devices, which you can download for free.
  • eReader: Currently, all available eReaders are compatible with the Onleihe. The only exception are the Kindle eReader device. Its production
    company Amazon only allows copyright protected eBooks of its own format - AZM - to be opened on the very device.
  • PC and Notebook: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be used with Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

How it works: 

  • Loan with the Onleihe app
  • Loan directly with an eReader
  • Loan on the PC and transfer to an eReader

More information on the compatibility of the media types are available in our overview: What works on which device.

Copy protection: The digital rights management

The eBooks of the Onleihe have a copyright protection, the so-called "Digital Rights Management" (DRM). More information can be found here.

Which reading device should I use?

Comparison of reading devices:

Battery life(star)(green star)(green star)(star)
Display of pictures(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)
Display of videos(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)

Screen size

(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Readability of text(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Color(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)
Weight(green star)(green star)(green star)(red star)
Wifi(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Suitability for fiction(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Suitability for non fiction(star)(star)(green star)(green star)

(green star) Very good: The device is suited for this function.
(star) Moderately good: The device is moderately suited for this function.
(red star) Poor: The device does not offer this function or is not suitable for it at all.

The bookworm
You devour one book after another - especially novels - therefore you wish to have the best possible display for the text? You like to read your book
without any distraction from other apps or functions?
If this is the case, you should get an eBook reader with an eInk screen.

The practical type
You do not want to carry different devices with you when one multi-functional device offers it all? You are a frequent or an occasional reader. Wherever
you are there are always enough power outlets, so that a low battery life is no problem for you? If so, a tablet or smartphone is the right device for you.

The expert
You work with non-fiction books, maybe you are even writing a thesis, and would like to use excerpts from an eBook to paste it right into office software? If
this is the case, a laptop or PC is best suited for you.


Here you will find everything you need to know about the media type "eLearning":

What is eLearning?

eLearning courses are digital learning course that you can borrow from your Onleihe.
eLearning as a new media type for the Onleihe and has been made available at the end of 2016.

Currently, eLearning content is available from the following providers:

  • LinguaTV.com provides online language courses for English, French, Italian, Spanish and German as a foreign language. The courses consist of
    scenic videos and tutorials, interactive exercises, learning games, vocabulary trainer and many learning aids like multilingual subtitles, online
    dictionaries and printable glossaries.

  • LinkedIn Learning is a popular video training provider. With over 2,500 video training courses with a total of over 65,000 videos, the successful provider has a considerable number of eLearning courses. The learner chooses a course, a so-called "training", and can then watch all the videos belonging to the training in sequence. Some videos encourage participation. The videos are divided into categories and lessons and are offered in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.

  • Lecturio is a platform for your private and professional education and training. As an adaptive learning system, Lecturio adapts to the speed of
    each individual.

  • VIWIS is a well-known provider of professional training courses. In 5 thematic blocks of soft skills, learners can continue their education in the areas of leadership skills, communication, self-management and imparting knowledge.
The particularities of eLearning

eLearning has the following particularities compared to other media types:

  • Availability: eLearning courses are always available and will not be counted to your borrowed medias. You can borrow eLearning courses at any
    time, even if your maximum number of loans is already full.
  • Loan period: The loan period of a course is 6 months. If this time is not enough, you can simply borrow the course again. Your process of
    learning will still be saved on the platform of the provider. You can also delete a borrowed eLearning course from your account at any time.
Technical requirements for the usage of eLearning

eLearning courses can be used online with your internet browser:

  • With an internet browser on your PC.
  • With an internet browser on your tablet or smartphone.
  • With the Onleihe-App.

How it works

Borrowing eLearning courses
More information on the compatibility of the media types with different devices can be found in our overview: What works on which device.

Why is there no mediatype "eLearning" available in my Onleihe?

Just as in your local library, the library staff decide what kind of titles are purchased.

If eLearning is not available in your Onleihe, it has not been purchased by your library or the library consortium.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact your library.

eMagazine and ePaper

Here you will find everything you need to know about the media types "eMagazine" and "ePaper":

What are eMagazine and ePaper?

eMagazines are digital magazines and ePaper are digital papers that you can borrow on your Onleihe.

The particularities of eMagazines and ePaper

eMagazines and ePaper have the following sepcial features compared to other media types:

  • Loan period: The loan period is determined by the publisher of the ePaper or eMagazine and can not be changed by your library. 
    The loan period for eMagazines is 1-2 days depending on the title and 1-2 hours for ePaper.
  • Number of issues: The number of issues a library is allowed to give acces to at any given moment of an eMagazine or ePaper is also
    determined by the publisher e.g. not more than the last 7 issues are made available.
  • Daily contingent for ePaper: In contrast to the other media types, ePaper have a daily contingent of available borrowings for each issue. This
    number of possible borrowings per day is also determined by the publisher. Usually it contains 12-24 daily borrowings. For example: If a library
    has purchased 1 license of an ePaper, a contingent of e.g. 24 loans available daily. For 2 licenses, it would be 48, etc.
    If the daily contingent is exhausted, the ePaper can not be borrowed until the next day.

eMagazines and ePaper are available in the PDF format.

Technical possibilities of use

You can read eMagazines and ePaper on a vast variety of devices:

  • Tablets and smartphones: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be read on tablets and smartphones. Download the free Onleihe app for iOS or
  • eReader: Currently, most available eReaders are compatible with the Onleihe.
    One exception is the Kindle eReader, since Amazon only allows it's reading device to open copyright protected titles with its own format - AZM.
  • PC and Notebook: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be used with Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

How it works

  • Loan with the Onleihe app
  • Loan directly with an eReader
  • Loan on the PC and transfer to an eReader

More information on the compatibility of the media types with different devices can be found in our overview: What works on which device.


Here you will find everything you need to know about the media type "eVideo":

What is an eVideo?

eVideos are digital movies that you can borrow from your Onleihe.
The portfolio includes non-fiction movies, documentaries and children's movies.

Format and technical possibilities of use

eVideo titles are available via streaming and can be viewed online with a compatible internet browser on your PC.
A mobile use of the eVideos is currently not possible.

  • Streaming of Audios and Videos onto your PC

More information on the compatibility of the media types with different devices can be found in our overview: What works on which device.

Copy protection: The digital rights management

All video files of the Onleihe have a copyright protection: A digital rights management.
Therefore you may only use the media in the ways described under technical possibilities of use.