Copyright and media law

As specialized lawyers for copyright and media law, we advise artists and freelancers such as authors, poets, painters and musicians as well as companies and private individuals on all questions of copyright law.

In the field of internet law and e-commerce, we advise and support you in all questions concerning your internet project. We accompany you from the first idea through the planning, implementation and operation of your project. Internet law is complex. Especially for shop operators, it holds a multitude of legal traps. Our law practice covers this legal cross-sectional area of industrial property protection, copyright, civil and consumer law as well as numerous special laws. And, of course, we also accompany you internationally, because e-commerce does not stop at borders.

You might also ask yourself one of the following questions …

These are often mass issuances. In these cases, the warning letter regularly demands the submission of a declaration of discontinuance with penalty clause as well as the payment of compensation for expenses and damages.

This does not always constitute an infringement of copyright. If there is indeed a copyright infringement, a cease-and-desist declaration must be submitted. However, you are not required to use the pre-formulated form, which is probably disadvantageous for you.

Similarly with the demand for payment, if the warning is justified, you are basically obliged to pay. However, the amount of the claim is often set too high, and if there are doubts about the justification of the warning, the claim can be rejected.

Overall, it can be said that authors have a very strong legal position. This is often much more pronounced than the authors themselves are aware of.

First and foremost, authors’ personal rights arise. These essentially grant the author the right of publication, the right to have his authorship recognised and the right to prohibit distortion or other impairment of the work under certain circumstances.

In addition, there are copyright exploitation rights, such as the right of reproduction, processing and public communication.

One of the most recent reforms of copyright law in 2002 again significantly strengthened authors’ rights. For example, a claim for separate, subsequent payment may arise if the previous payment was not fair and reasonable and also if the work is used differently from when the contract was signed. This is an exception to the principle pacta sunt servanda and protects the author in a specific way.

In order to enable the use of the work, contracts of use and license agreements are possible.

But what can you do if your rights are infringed, for example by copying your images, product photos, texts, brochures, pieces of music, or films or by illegal downloads?

First of all, you, as the author, can demand that the infringing behaviour be stopped. In addition, a claim for damages may also be considered, and the person infringing the intellectual property rights can be liable to prosecution.

The prerequisite for the scope of application of copyright law is the existence of a work.

By this, the law understands a personal intellectual creation. It must therefore be a perceptible creation produced by a person and have a sufficient degree of individuality (level of creation). The result of the creation must stand out from the mass of the commonplace and from merely mechanical or routine achievements.

As examples, the Copyright Act itself cites literary works, works of music, pantomimic works including the art of dance, works of fine and applied arts and architecture as well as their drafts, photographic works, cinematic works, and illustrations or representations of a scientific or technical nature. Specifically, therefore, photographs and poems, but also unpublished works such as databases and much more are subject to copyright.

…then we are glad to be able to help you.

Our services

  • Contract advice and contract drafting regarding personal and exploitation rights under copyright law

    • Advice and representation in existing disputes such as claims for injunctive relief, damages or enrichment as well as claims for compensation by authors

Your lawyers for copyright and media law

Ernst Henning Knigge
Ernst Henning KniggeLL.M. EUR., lawyer, banker, mediator, copyright and media law specialist
David Nourney
David Nourney LL.M. Intellectual Property Law, Attorney at Law, Copyright and Media Law, Intellectual Property Law (admission suspended pursuant to section 47 (1) BRAO)
Igor Dragobetski
Igor DragobetskiAttorney at law

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