Need to protect the works of photographers on the internet quite a bit of sense of proportion.

Sylvio Schiller

Contract expertise

  • Licence agreement
  • User agreement
  • Design agreement
  • Freelancer contract
  • merchandising contract
  • Content agreement
  • Conditions of Use

Copyright law

In recent years, copyright has become increasingly important and has become the focus of attention, in particular in the course of the “digital revolution”. Copyright does not only comprise the rights of use and moral rights, but also some further, related property rights. The circle of our clients that render services which are relevant in terms of copyright is broadly diversified. We for example represent authors, journalists, publishing companies, composers, photographers, graphic artists, architects, producers, scientists, software engineers and creative people from the innovative startup scene.

The general principle is that it is up to a creator of a work to decide how, when and in what form any work is published and to what extent it may be changed by the user. In today’s world, this general principle – with all its opportunities – quickly reaches its limits and quickly poses great challenges for the right holders as well as the users of copyrighted works. It is exactly this point at which we can support you with our know-how and advise you in the best possible manner on the basis of our many years of experience. In this context, we do not only consider the legal aspects, but also the economic interests of our clients.

Examination of rights / rights management

Many projects in the media sector, especially those concerning the production of cinema and television movies, but also promotional films, or those concerning the publication of books or music, require a search with regard to third-party rights affected by such projects in the preparatory stage. Our attorneys at law perform this examination and protect all the rights in this way in order to avoid subsequent copyright infringements which will entail costs and delays. Within the scope of such searches, we also advise and support our clients in the acquisition of such rights and in the associated negotiations.

When a project has been finished, we regularly support our clients in the contractual evaluation of the values thus created, and protect the intellectual property.

Written warnings

Written warnings often occur in our daily work. In this context, we can draw on the extensive experience gained from the perspective of all parties involved. Therefore, we always know the other side and its arguments.

If copyrights of our clients are violated, we agree with our clients on the measures to solve this problem. For example, a written warning may be possible, but not reasonable in a specific case. In this regard, we render advice under the aspect of the concept of “fair-use” which comes from the USA. However, if the violator commits the copyright infringement in the commercial sphere, we will enforce all rights and claims which are available to our clients, such as claims for injunctive relief, rights to information and claims for damages. If applicable, we will apply for a preliminary injunction or commence the principal proceedings.

On the other hand, we also represent our clients even if they have received a written warning due to copyright infringement on their part. In such a case, we check whether such written warning is justified or not, and we show possibilities of how to come to a cost-effective agreement, or we prepare an optimal cease-and-desist declaration in order to avoid further disputes. If legal proceedings become necessary owing to the fact that the arguments of the party or parties giving the warning do not promise success, there are doubts about their legal position, and they do not waive their alleged claims, we will also advise and support our clients in this phase.

Written warnings regarding file sharing

Written warnings regarding file sharing still occur very often. Even if a large portion of them is legitimate, we always find ways to support our clients. In this way, it can be ensured that faults committed by our clients or their children or employees do not become too expensive and the consequences of such faults remain manageable.

We check the written warnings thus received by our clients for their legitimacy, and reply to the lawyers of the opposing party by means of an adequate but – as far as possible – fairly restricted cease-and-desist declaration.  These modified cease-and-desist declarations are regularly an appropriate tool to response to the written warnings and to create the basis for settlement negotiations for the reduction of the asserted amounts of damage claims and the legal fees of the opposing party.

Recently the number of legal proceedings has increased in this copyright segment, as well. However, there are always aspects which can be used in favour of our clients and which influence the outcome of the proceedings.

Licence agreements / usage agreements

The exploitation of copyrighted works regularly requires contractual protection. In such cases, we support our clients by giving professional advice in contract negotiations, and we check contract drafts for their legal and economic risks.

With regard to contract drafting, our clients benefit from our professional expertise which allows the best possible protection of their interests and which always takes account of the principle of subsequent conflict prevention during the contract period.

Do you have any further questions? Our foregoing general information cannot replace legal advice in individual cases. If you require legal advice or legal representation for your specific concern, we will be pleased to be at your disposal. Simply call or write us.  

  • Enforcement and defence of copyrights
  • Written warnings in case of copyright infringements
  • Assertion of rights to information and/or claims for damages
  • Defence in case of written warnings due to copyright infringement
  • Provision of legal advice in connection with copyrights, also towards collecting societies  
  • Negotiating and drafting of licence agreements / usage agreements / exploitation agreements
  • Preparation and adjustment of terms of use (EULA) for software and user- generated content
  • Examination of copyrights and rights management
  • Representation in copyright litigations
  • Implementation of preliminary injunction proceedings
  • Opposition proceedings in case of preliminary injunction proceedings