The internet needs a new understanding of pricacy.

Christoph Kutschera

Media law | personality right

Media law comprises many topics which become relevant to individuals or companies in connection with conventional as well as new media.  Many media companies are located in Berlin, above all media companies in the digital area. Therefore, legal issues and disputes relating to media law are regularly the subject of our activities.

We advise our clients if their personality rights or those of their company are infringed by text or image publications in newspapers, TV or on the Internet. Especially the Internet becomes more and more important, because negative and in particular false or defamatory allegations can seriously damage the image of a company. In this regard, we can act professionally and fast on the basis of our extensive experience.

Likewise, our areas of expertise also include the contract drafting in the media sector. On the one hand, we conduct contract negotiations within the scope of movie and music productions, which apply to all forms of design and all parties involved, and which safeguard the chains of rights. On the other hand, we also negotiate book contracts and/or online project contracts.

Representations in the media are not only important to private persons. They also become more and more important to companies and their management boards. In many cases it is helpful if public relations and the evaluation of the media are supported by our professional attorneys at law. Our professional activities do not only comprise the provision of advice, but also out-of-court warnings and judicial assistance in the field of press law and personality right where necessary.

We regularly represent clients from Germany and abroad who do not agree with publications containing information related to their identity or their company. This does not only concern celebrities who arouse the interest of the media, but also normal people without celebrity status who are also frequently affected by such publications and who need our advice, as well.

During the advisory work, the most appropriate means must be found to take successful action against such publication. A written warning against the party responsible for such publication is not always the best solution. Especially in respect of Internet publications, the further development and the risks associated with a written warning are especially important to the decision as to how we will become active for our clients.  Even if such contribution will be removed from the Internet due to the intervention of our law firm, it is important to avoid that subsequent discussions on the topic will cause considerable reputational harm or PR damage to our client. In this context, the know-how of our attorneys at law is of crucial importance. Nevertheless, it is important to use the entire range of options provided under press law which basically comprise counterstatements, claims for removal, claims for injunctive relief as well as the assertion of claims for damages, also for immaterial damage (“compensation for pain and suffering”).

When we provide advice to clients from the media industry, above all to production companies and Internet portals, it is often necessary to weigh up the pros and cons whether the removal of the contribution in question will meet the journalistic requirements or whether such contribution is useful for the information of the public. It goes without saying that the minimization of cost risks also has priority, especially with regard to smaller portals.

Cinema and television projects involve most different aspects regarding the relevant contractual partners, because the interests are very different. In order to ensure that contracts contribute to success, it is necessary to establish a fair balance and to involve all interested parties in an equal manner. In this respect, our clients can rely on our experience and on our professional legal advice.

The prevailing law is essentially reflected by the right to the own image which is of crucial importance to private persons. In today’s world which is based on media and Internet, this property right is not only considerably important to celebrities and their families, but also to normal people.

Beyond that, there is an increase in the number of cases where photographs of private pages of our clients are used commercially or are found on advertising material of companies later on. In many cases, such photographs are used without the consent of the persons who have been photographed. This regularly leads to claims for injunctive relief, claims for removal and claims for damages. It has also happened quite often that camera teams have produced contributions for large TV shows and have not asked the involuntary film protagonists to give their consent, or have not told them the truth of the actual purpose of the film recordings, or have even published the material although the persons concerned refused to give their consent to such publication.

In such cases, it is necessary to act quickly, because photo/film material broadcast on TV or published in online newspapers spreads fast on the Internet and it becomes more and more difficult to delete it completely afterwards.

Our attorneys at law check and draft very different contracts in connection with media law. Our legal expertise and our experience allow creative and innovative approaches which are based on practical needs and which are legally compliant. It is just the innovative startup companies which pose challenges in this regard. However, our attorneys at law are always pleased to accept these challenges.

Moreover, our law firm can also provide high-quality advice to clients from the conventional media industry, such as publishing companies and film production companies or advertising agencies, in this field of law.