Copyright Law

Get competent legal advice on copyright law.

Copyright law is very complex. All the more important it is to know your rights in relation to the protection of your intellectual property and the prevention of unjustified claims.

Expertise

Cease and desists claims in filesharing matters

Have you received a cease and desist claim, default summon or complain? Find out how to react properly.

1. Filesharing: What’s this?

Filesharing are activities including the unlicensed use of copyrights in the form of free downloads of recorded music, films, video games, books or text documents.

2. Cease and desist claim: What’s the accusation?

Addressees of cease and desist claims are accused of having shared copyrighted works through filesharing software. Copyright holders claim to have endured a damage, which is now demanded from the addressee.

Furthermore, the legal costs of the cease and desist claim are demanded on the ground of being necessary to pursue the claims.

3. How can I defend myself?

In copyright cases the defense strategy depends on the circumstances.

The person who distributed the copyrighted works is liable to cease in desists, but a person who enabled the distribution may also be liable in the case of a violation of the obligation to instruct.

In both cases a cease-and-desist declaration can be signed.

4. „The owner of the connection is always liable!“

Wrong! The owner of the internet connection isn’t automatically liable for a copyright infringement. The owner of the internet connection is addressed by the copyright owner in the first place. He or she is only liable if a breach of duty has been committed. This depends on the circumstances of the case. There are lots of law cases relating thereto:

  • Other adult members of the family share the internet connection

  • Minor members of the family share the internet connection

  • The internet connection is shared by a flat-sharing community

  • Guests and visitors share the internet connection

  • The internet connection has been hacked

  • Renters share the internet connection

  • The internet connection is used by hotel guests or holiday home guests

  • The internet connection is operated by in internet café

Copyright infringements (photography)

In the times of Social Media and influencers, photography has become a very important instrument in advertising. The unlicensed use of a photography can be prohibited by the photographer.

In Detail:

1. Injunctive relief

The photographer may take legal action against the use of unlicensed photo material. A injunctive relief may be filed, by the means of a cease and desist claim. If the addressee refuses to sign a cease-and-desist declaration, the case may be brought in front of a judge.

2. Claim for damages

The photographer may also claim damages according to § 97 Abs. 2 UrhG. The amount to be paid depends on the circumstances. For example, the photographer may claim the infringer’s profit or a fictious license fee.

3. Right to information

The photographer has the right to be informed in order to be able to calculate the damages due. The damages depend on the type of use. Compensation depends on the period of time and the type of usage of the photograph.

4. Who pays the lawyer?

As a rule, the infringer is liable for damages incurred to the creator.

Copyright contract law

The creator of a work may transfer his right. He may secure a reasonable compensation by concluding a contract. Such a contract needs to contain a certain number of arrangements in order to leave as little room for disputes as possible.

Important contractual arrangements are:

  • The scope of the right to use

  • Types of uses

  • Textual, territorial or temporal limitations

  • The amount of renumeration

  • Liabilities

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