Neighbouring Right for Newspaper Publishers in Germany Passed

März 27, 2013

The amendment to the German Copyright Act granting news publishers a new neighbouring right has passed the German Parliament in March 2013. The law has not yet been proclaimed. It shall come into effect on the first day of the third calendar month following proclamation. UPDATE: The amendment has been proclaimed on 7 May 2013 and will come into effect on 1 August 2013.

 Here is my completely unofficial translation of the new provisions of the German Copyright Act:


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Neighbouring right for newspaper publishers in Germany: Draft bill proposed

Juni 17, 2012

The German Ministry of Justice has published an extremely controversial draft amendment to the Copyright Act that would grant a new neighbouring right to press publishers last week.

The proposed sec. 87f of the German Copyright Act would grant the producer of a “press publication” the exclusive right to make the publication available online for commercial purposes.

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German Data Protection Law in the European Context – Overview

Juli 4, 2011

During the Second Annual Conference on Transatlantic Deals and Disputes organized jointly by the American Bar Association and Deutscher Anwaltverein in Munich on June 19-20, 2011 I had the pleasure of joining former FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour and Wilhelm J. Ziegler, Christian Laux and Günther Leissler as a speaker at the Data Privacy Panel. You can find a brief overview on German data protection law in the European context I wrote for the occasion here.

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Orphans in Brussels

Oktober 8, 2009

On 26 October 2009, the European Commission will organise a Public Hearing on Orphan Works in Brussels. „Orphan works“ are still under copyright protection but the rightsholders are unknown. Many of those works are out of print. Since only a small fraction of the countless books that have been published during the 20th century are commercially successful over the whole period during which they are under copyright protection (lifetime of the author plus 70 years), and since there is no copyright registry, the „orphan works problem“ concerns a large part of the scientific and literary production of the 20th century. Works of another kind – pictures, films, etc. – may of course also be “orphan works”.

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Burda vs. Creative Commons photographer

September 11, 2009

Berlin fashion photographer and blogger Mary Scherpe reports here that nine of her “Stil in Berlin” photos that she had made available on the Internet under a Creative Commons License (NC-ND) were used without her consent and without credit by a Burda magazine last year.

According to Scherpe, she charged the publisher her usual fee, plus a 100% surcharge for the failure to attribute the photos to her. If the facts stated are correct, this would be the amount she is entitled to. The publisher offered only half the amount, “wouldn’t she be interested in working with Burda in the future?” – but did not suggest a concrete project. Scherpe refused and filed a complaint for copyright infringement with a Berlin court. The court decision is due on Oct.12.

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German Federal State announces economic stimulus package aimed at IT industry

April 1, 2009

The government of the German Federal State of Hesse has announced a new spending programme to stimulate the economy of Hesse in the current financial and economic crisis. Hesse’s Prime Minister, Roland Koch, and several members of his cabinet will jointly present today a 1.7 bn EUR economic stimulus package called “Hesse 2.0” aimed at the state’s IT and media industry. The spending is scheduled to begin already in 2009.

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