Copyright (Germany)

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First detailed copyright law on German territory: the Prussian law of June 11, 1837 (here: first page from the Prussian collection of laws)

The copyright of the Federal Republic of Germany covers that part of the German legal system with which creative achievements - so-called works - in the fields of literature, science and art are protected. In this function, it regulates the scope, content, transferability and enforceability of the ( subjective ) rights and powers assigned to the creators . Copyright also includes related property rights ( ancillary copyrights ) with which certain services are protected that are more or less closely related to the exploitation of works. Copyright is systematically part of private law .

Today, German copyright law is largely codified in the Copyright Act (UrhG) from 1965 . The Collecting Societies Act (VGG) contains special regulations for collecting societies ; those for publishing law can be found in the Publishing Act (VerlG). In addition, the legal relationships under copyright law are largely shaped by the provisions of the Basic Law and the Civil Code . The extensive copyright regulations of Community law and the international copyright treaties also have a major influence on German copyright law .

The beginnings of copyright law in the history of ideas as an independent right based on “ intellectual property” are mostly dated in Germany to the beginning of the 18th century. Before that, however, as in the rest of Europe, the first form of special protection for intellectual products had already appeared in the 16th century with the privilege . A principle of reprint protection first appeared in legislation in Prussia , Saxony and Hanover in the 1760s and 1770s .


Legal sources

Simple legal sources of the autonomous German copyright law are in particular the Copyright Act (UrhG), the Collecting Societies Act (VGG) (previously until 2016: the Copyright Administration Act ) and the Publishing Act (VerlG). The copyright contract law - by which is (including the ensuing legal consequences) understand those regulations relating to the treaties on copyright and related rights - has not undergone any independent codification. While some of the core provisions of copyright law are contained in the UrhG and the publishing regulations in the VerlG, the Civil Code and in particular its regulations in the general part and the law of obligations play an important role here.

Copyright law is particularly confronted with cross-border issues: on the one hand, the population is not only interested in domestic works, on the other hand - mirror-inverted - the authors have an interest, not only in Germany but also abroad to be able to do. Against this background, it makes sense that the relevant copyright regulations for Germany result to a considerable extent from EU and international law. The international agreements on copyright and related rights to which Germany is bound include in particular the following:

agreement Entry into force for the Federal Republic or the German Reich
Bern Convention for the Protection of Works of Literature and Art ([R] BÜ) of September 9, 1886 December 5, 1887 (original version)
World Copyright Convention (WUA) of September 6, 1952 September 16, 1955 (original version)
European Agreement for the Protection of Television Programs (European Television Agreement) of June 22, 1960 January 22, 1965
International Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Companies (Rome Convention) of October 26, 1961 October 21, 1966
Geneva Phonograms Agreement of October 29, 1971 May 18, 1974
Convention on the dissemination of program-carrying signals transmitted by satellites (Brussels Satellite Agreement) of May 21, 1974 August 25, 1979
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) of April 15, 1994 January 1, 1995
WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) of December 20, 1996 March 14, 2010
Marrakech Treaty on Facilitating Access to Published Works for Blind, Visually Impaired or Other Print Disabled People (Marrakech Treaty) of June 27, 2013 1st January 2019
Signed but not yet ratified :
  • Beijing Audiovisual Performance Treaty of June 24, 2012 (not yet in force)

There are also bilateral treaties with a few countries, but these have become less important due to the increasing role played by the large multilateral agreements. The construction principle of the agreements is basically the same: First of all, certain (minimum) protection standards are defined in the respective regulatory area. Then the principle of national treatment is agreed, i.e. the member states assure each other that they will grant the nationals of other member states the same rights as their own nationals within the scope of the respective agreement.

Legislation at the level of the European Union is of eminent importance for German copyright law today . Since the beginning of the 1990s, almost a dozen guidelines on copyright and related rights have been issued and implemented in German law. The most important directive in practice is likely to be Directive 2001/29 / EC (InfoSoc Directive), with which the fundamental rights of authors and the owners of some related rights have been harmonized across the EU. The InfoSoc guideline also stipulates which exceptions and limitations to these rights the member states may make. To regulate the import and export of barrier-free copies of works for the blind and print handicapped , an ordinance came into force in 2017 for the first time in the field of copyright law . Such is directly applicable in all member states.

Constitutional references

Constitutional contact points are, in particular with the guarantee of ownership of Art. 14 Basic Law (GG). According to the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court, this also protects the “fundamental assignment of the financial result of the creative work to the author” as so-called “intellectual property”. The Federal Constitutional Court also counts the ancillary copyrights of the performers and phonogram manufacturers as property within the meaning of the Basic Law. While the exploitation law components of copyright are thus covered by Art. 14 , moral rights are covered by Art. 1 Para. V. m. Art. 2 para. 1 GG ( general personal rights ) secured. Under certain circumstances there is (also) other fundamental rights protection in favor of the author , for example through the freedom of art and science ( Art. 5 (3) sentence 1 GG). It should be borne in mind, however, that the scope for granting national protection of fundamental rights has meanwhile been greatly reduced as a result of the extensive harmonization of copyright law in the European Union. As soon as EU directives with mandatory requirements are implemented in German law, the resulting regulations are basically only to be assessed against the standards of Union law (and the fundamental rights guaranteed by this). At the Union level, the legal position of the author is supported by Article 17, Paragraph 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights , according to which "intellectual property [...] is protected".

At the same time, there is a constitutional tension between copyright law and the public interest in the use of protected products. The protection of property in the Basic Law is explicitly linked to the mandate to the legislature to determine the content and limitations of property ( Art. 14.1 sentence 2 GG) in order to create a property order “which both the private interests of the individual and which is fair to the general public ”. Article 14.2 of the Basic Law then stipulates the social obligation of property : Its use should serve “the common good”. For the benefit of users of the work, specific fundamental rights can also be of weight. The main thing to think about here is artistic freedom ( Article 5, Paragraph 3, Sentence 1, Basic Law; Article 13, Sentence 1, Charter of Fundamental Rights). Actions relevant to copyright are also often within the scope of protection of the freedoms of communication , such as freedom of information ( Article 5 (1) sentence 1 of the Basic Law; Article 11 (1) sentence 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights) and freedom of the press ( Article 5 (1) sentence 2 GG; Art. 11 para. 2 Charter of Fundamental Rights). Although the dichotomy “author” / “user” is often found in the copyright policy debate, one should finally realize that other actors in the exploitation process also have fundamental rights positions. This applies in particular about the group of rights distributors ( publishers , music labels , etc.) and certain Internet Service Provider (operator of sharing , hosting services etc.). There one will in particular have to take into account the freedom of occupation ( Article 12.1 of the Basic Law) and the freedom of economic activity ( Article 2.1 of the Basic Law; Article 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights).

The to be carried out after all balancing of fundamental rights takes place to a large extent already in the Copyright Act, especially in the form of barriers provisions of §§ 44a et seq. Of the Copyright Act, the regulations on the free use ( § 24 German Copyright Act) and certain compulsory licenses (about § 5 para. 3 Sentence 2 UrhG). These rules are then in turn by the courts again in the light of the Constitution designed . In the case law of the constitutional court, for example, it is recognized that an “art-specific consideration” has to be made in the artistic examination of pre-existing, copyright-protected work, under which it may be necessary to interpret copyright exceptions more broadly than in the non-artistic area.

Property law

The copyright

Subject matter of copyright: the work

Chimpanzees cannot be producers of a “work”

According to § 1 UrhG , the subject matter of German copyright law are works of literature , science and art . The list given in § 2 UrhG ( speeches and public speeches , computer works , dance and pantomime , photographic works and films) is not exhaustive. "Personal spiritual creations" are defined as work in Section 2, Paragraph 2. According to the prevailing opinion, this concept of work comprises four elements:

  1. Personal creation: presupposes "a result of the action that was created by the creative, form-defining influence of a person". Machine productions or objects and performances made by animals do not meet this criterion. The creation process is a real act and does not require the legal capacity of the creator.
  2. Perceptible design: The criterion of perceptible design excludes mere ideas that have not manifested themselves in a perceptible form. Perceptibility does not necessarily mean physical determination; musical improvisations or impromptu speeches also meet this criterion. The mediation of perception is also irrelevant: it is sufficient if the work can be made perceptible using technical aids (such as playing a CD).
  3. Spiritual content: The mere sensual perceptibility is not enough: Furthermore, the author must generate a world of thoughts and / or feelings that has a stimulating effect on the viewer in some way.
  4. Personal character: Finally, the definition of a work in Section 2 (2) UrhG requires a certain degree of individuality and originality to be achieved; this way, pure routine actions are eliminated. The criterion is also called “creative individuality”, “creative peculiarity”, “level of design”, or “individual expressiveness”. Depending on the type of work, the required degree of originality (the so-called height of creation ) is different. Only a slight deviation from the average craftsmanship is called a small coin .

With these criteria, there is also a differentiation from technical and scientific inventions for which patent law offers protection. A distinction is to be made between the work and the workpiece : This is only the embodiment of the work (the printed book is the embodiment of a novel). The workpiece is subject to the provisions of property law .

Copyright protection is not granted forever (like private property ). The protection of the work begins as soon as the requirements of § 2 Paragraph 2 UrhG are met. It ends 70 years after the death of the sole author ( § 64 UrhG ). There is a corresponding regulation in § 65 UrhG for several authors. If the author is anonymous or publishes under a pseudonym, the copyright usually expires 70 years after publication ( Section 66 UrhG). At the end of the protection period, the work is in the public domain . Official works are always in the public domain according to § 5 UrhG .

Even if a work does not reach the height of creation and therefore does not fall under the copyright law, in certain cases the fair trade law can be asserted against simple copying in the commercial sector .

Individual types of work

Language works
are those who use language to express their intellectual content (BGH, GRUR 1985, p. 1041). These primarily include novels, short stories, poems, scripts, song texts, but also works that have not been recorded, such as interviews and speeches, as well as scientific works, provided they are (clearly) above the average in their presentation. The work character of utility documents such as instructions for use or forms usually fails due to a lack of individuality.
Computer programs
are mostly defined as programs in any form , i.e. also those that are part of the hardware (Recital 7 of Directive 91/250 / EEC ). The special regulation of Section 69a (3) UrhG applies to their protectability .
Musical works
The concept of musical work is open to further developments and describes "any form of intentional organization of sound results". Even hits that do not exceed the small coin can enjoy copyright protection.

The right holder of the copyright: The author

The copyright holder is the author . According to § 7 UrhG, this is the creator of the work, from which it can be deduced that he can only be a natural person , i.e. a human being. This excludes both legal persons and animals . Even if the work was created from the beginning on the basis of an order, the customer is never the author. This can only be granted one right of use. An employment or service relationship does not change anything in terms of authorship; at most, there may be a right to transfer the rights of use.

If several people have created a work together in such a way that their shares cannot be used separately, they are entitled to joint copyright as co-authors ( Section 8 UrhG). The demarcation of the joint creation is not always easy, and here too it is necessary to consider individual cases. In any case, it is necessary that the co-author has made a creative contribution . The co-authors form a joint partnership , which, in simple terms, means that decisions have to be made jointly, i.e. with prior consultation.

In the case of connected works (i.e. works to which different authors have made individually viewable contributions (e.g. song and lyrics )), Section 9 UrhG stipulates that under certain circumstances the consent of one or more authors is not necessary. When this is the case depends on the principle of good faith . This results in works of film art often demarcation problems and disputes, which is made clear by the lack of legal basis nor feed. At least those participants who have a direct influence on the film material (such as the director , film editor or screenwriter ) can be regarded as authors.

Transferability of Copyright

In Germany one assumes a uniform copyright law , in which the protection of ideal and economic interests are closely linked (so-called monistic theory). The copyright is therefore declared fundamentally non-transferable. The only possibility is the transfer by succession : According to the express regulation of § 28 Abs. 1 UrhG, copyright is inheritable . On the other hand, Section 29 (1) UrhG excludes a transfer of copyright that does not take place in fulfillment of a disposition due to death or in the context of an inheritance dispute ; the commercialization of copyright is thus clearly restricted.

If there is a permissible transfer of copyright to one or more heirs due to an inheritance or in the context of an inheritance dispute, these heirs as legal successors are entitled to the rights to which the author is entitled, provided the law does not contain any restrictions ( Section 30 UrhG). A sole heir can therefore in principle dispose of the inherited copyright like the author. For several heirs, unless an execution of the will has been ordered, the principle of § 2038 BGB applies , according to which the heirs jointly manage the estate (i.e. also the inherited copyright). Utilization or abandonment of the copyright can therefore only be carried out jointly by the heirs , because it represents a disposition over the subject of the estate according to Section 2040 of the German Civil Code (BGB); if there are discrepancies in this respect, the heir who seeks to dispose of the right only has to demand the inheritance disputes from the remaining heirs in accordance with Section 2042 (1) BGB - within the framework of which the copyright can then be transferred to him or to another co-heir, with the result that he will enjoy the legal succession according to § 30 UrhG. Incidentally, the right to inheritance disputes is legally enforceable when the estate is ready for division.

Since the joint administration of an intangible right will regularly cause greater difficulties, the ordering of an execution of a will should be appropriate in most cases, especially with regard to copyrights belonging to the estate. The legislature therefore favors such an arrangement: Section 28 (2) UrhG provides that the author can transfer the exercise of copyright to an executor by means of a testamentary disposition, whereby the regulation of Section 2210 BGB, which otherwise in inheritance law, the duration of the execution of the will to thirty Years limited, does not apply to this.

Content of copyright

German copyright law serves to protect works of literature , science and art , as well as intellectual or artistic achievements and investments in the cultural industry (see below). The copyright law gives the author, as the owner of the rights, the right to freely and exclusively dispose of the rights of use to his work. For this purpose, § 11 UrhG protects the author in his intellectual and personal relationships to the work. In order to take this legal position into account, the author is granted moral rights and exploitation rights.

Moral law

The moral right is specifically regulated in §§ 12 to 14 UrhG, but also has an impact on other standards of copyright law (e.g. the claims for damages in § § 97 ff.). From the right of publication of § 12 UrhG it follows that the author is solely responsible for determining whether, when and how his work is published. This only includes the first publication, which can be spoken of when the work has been made available to the general public of the addressed and interested groups ( Section 6 (1) UrhG). The right to recognition of the authorship ( § 13 UrhG) means that the author can determine how, when and whether his work should be provided with an author's designation (see copyright anonymity , also pseudonymous authorship ). The provision is supplemented by § 107 UrhG, according to which the incorrect application of an author's designation by a third party is punished (with a fine or up to 3 years imprisonment ). Finally, § 14 UrhG enables the author to prevent any distortion or other impairment of his work (see also note under jurisprudence literature).

According to § 39 (changes to the work) it is forbidden to make changes to the work or title. Quote: Paragraph (1) The owner of a right of use may not change the work, its title or the author's designation, unless otherwise agreed. Paragraph (2) Changes to the work and its title, to which the author cannot withhold his consent in good faith, are permitted.

According to § 25 UrhG, the author can request the owner to grant access to the work (or the copy), provided this is necessary for the production of further copies or adaptations of the work and this interest does not conflict with the owner's legitimate interests ( right of access ). From this, however, the author cannot construct any obligation for the owner to handle the work carefully or in any other way. How the work is ultimately handled is determined by the owner alone.

Exploitation rights

The author of the work has the exclusive right of exploitation . For the instruments available to him for this purpose, § 15 UrhG contains a non-exhaustive list. From the moral law it follows that the author should participate in every (renewed) exploitation, so that a modified placing on the market can justify a claim for remuneration for the author. This depends largely on whether the protected area of ​​the plant is affected, which must be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Statutory remuneration claims

According to § 26 UrhG (so-called resale right ), the author of a work of the visual arts is entitled to remuneration in the amount of a certain percentage of the sales value achieved (up to a maximum amount of € 12,500) if the sale is carried out by a Art dealer or art auctioneer in Germany. In addition, the regulation standardizes certain rights to information about the seller. The claims can only be asserted by a collecting society .

Limitations of Copyright

In order to protect the interests of the general public, the law standardizes numerous restrictions on copyrights in Sections 44a to 63 UrhG. For example, the copyright position is limited in time and the public domain occurs automatically after a statutory period (70 years after the death of the author) ( Section 64 UrhG). In addition, cuts are made in terms of excludability , for example through the right to quote , which allows citations to differing extents ( large , small , etc.). In addition, there are further restrictions on the author's or the exclusive license holder's right of use for the benefit of individual users, the cultural industry and the general public.

Related property rights

Both the actual copyright and the ancillary copyrights are regulated in the Copyright Act. However, the “subject matter” of the ancillary copyrights is the service itself. Therefore, in terms of legal dogmatics, they cannot actually be assigned to copyright law in Germany. Nevertheless, they are standardized in the same law, namely in Sections 70 to 95 UrhG.

Copyright infringement

German copyright law provides for civil , criminal and competition law instruments to punish the unauthorized use of protected works. An infringement of property rights is when the embodiment of the third party is covered by the protection area and violates it. Two different variants are conceivable: First, the work of the third party could be identical to the work of the author, in which case the area of ​​protection would be clearly violated. The second variant is that the embodiment of the third party is only similar to the copyrighted work. Only in the latter case is the exact delimitation of the scope of the respective protected area absolutely necessary and to be carried out differently and individually depending on the individual case.

Protection area

It is determined by the characteristics that establish the height of creation . The greater the peculiarity inherent in the work, the greater the area of ​​protection that can be drawn. The very small protected area of ​​the so-called small coin is therefore difficult to violate, whereas it is easy to penetrate the protected area of ​​works with a considerable design height (e.g. complex and striking paintings or sculptures). However, only those features are taken into account that are actually used to determine the work (for example, in the case of a novel or similar, the particularly imaginative content of its explanations).

Civil Law Claims

The following claims are available to the author or the exclusive license holder : A removal claim in accordance with Section 97 (1), sentence 1, 1st alt. UrhG to eliminate a disruption, an injunction according to. Section 97 para. 1, p. 1, 2nd alt. UrhG to prevent further violations of the protection area, a claim for damages according to Section 97 (1), p. 1, 3rd alt. UrhG to pecuniary compensation for the damage incurred (the beneficiary can choose the most attractive for him against the infringer from various methods of calculating damages; usually the method of so-called license analogy is used), a claim for compensation for immaterial damage in accordance with 97 para. 2 UrhG, a destruction claim based on the illegally produced copies according to Section 98 (1) UrhG or Section 69f (1) UrhG, a right to surrender the object of infringement in accordance with 98 para. 2 UrhG, a claim to destruction / surrender of the reproduction devices in accordance with 99 UrhG, a right to information according to § 101a Abs. 1 UrhG, a right to publication of the judgment acc. § 103 Abs. 1, S. 1 UrhG in order to possibly bring about a deterrent effect, a submission claim acc. 809 BGB in order to obtain remedy in the event of any uncertainty about the violation of the protected area, an enrichment claim in accordance with Section 812 of the German Civil Code (BGB) to claim the unlawful use of the infringer and an accounting claim, if this is necessary to calculate the damage.

Criminal consequences

The following behavior is criminally punishable: The unauthorized use of works protected by copyright according to 106 UrhG ( fine - three years imprisonment ), an inadmissible affixing of an author's designation acc. Section 107 UrhG (fine - three-year imprisonment) and, according to Section 108b UrhG, unauthorized interference with technical protective measures and information required for the management of rights (fine - one-year imprisonment), such as the removal of copy protection . The penalty for commercial inspection (“professional” inspection) can increase to three years (for unauthorized interventions in technical protective measures) or five years (for unauthorized commercial use). In this case, a (otherwise very rare) error excluding fault is to be assumed, since a potential perpetrator who moves in a legal gray area cannot be aware of a violation of the law. In doing so, however, he must not have the slightest doubt that what he is doing is in perfect harmony with the legal system. With the exception of offenses committed on a commercial scale ( Section 108a ), these criminal offenses will only be prosecuted upon request , unless the criminal prosecution authorities consider intervention necessary due to the special public interest ( Section 109 ).

The deadline for filing a criminal complaint is three months from the time the person entitled is aware of the act and the perpetrator ( Section 77b ) of the Criminal Code.

In 2009, 229 people nationwide were convicted of copyright violations, of which a good dozen received imprisonment.

Consequences under competition law

In principle, the use of services that copyright law does not consider worthy of protection is free. In exceptional cases, taking over a product based on third-party services may violate Section 3 UWG . According to this, unfair competitive acts that are capable of affecting competition to the disadvantage of competitors, consumers or other market participants not only insignificantly are inadmissible. Circumstances that go beyond the mere takeover of the third-party product can lead to § 3 UWG. As a result, Section 8 UWG grants the injured party an injunction and Section 9 UWG a claim for damages.

Forced exploitation of copyrights

The enforcement of a copyright infringement takes place according to the general rules of the ZPO. § 113 UrhG gives the possibility to enforce the copyright for monetary claims, if the right holder agrees.

International Copyright

The International copyright law is a branch of the international private law . As a conflict of laws, it determines when which law is applied. In addition, there is the national aliens law, which determines whether a foreigner can even invoke the protection of the respective copyright law. This is mainly regulated in international treaties.

Since the copyright is nowhere to be found (such as ownership), it is difficult to assign a legal system. Two theories are proposed to solve the problem: the principle of territoriality and the principle of universality. The principle of territoriality is related to the idea that copyright only arises through state privilege and therefore only applies within the respective territory. Accordingly, it may be less of the talk as copyright of a bundle of rights by national law. The universality principle goes back to the natural law notion that ipso iure a universal copyright would arise with creation, which only needs to be elaborated by the individual national laws.

The copyright collision law has not been regulated by law in Germany. The prevailing opinion ( following Eugen Ulmer ) subordinates the claim to the law of the state for whose territory protection is claimed. The opposite view ( Schack ) considers this with the natural law justification of copyright law to be outdated and wants to make copyright law subject to a uniform statute. This goes back to the international private law principle of the protection of well-earned rights.

Copyright contract law

Property law

Copyright has a large number of special legal regulations to ensure handling in daily (legal) dealings. They are standardized in Sections 28 to 44 and Sections 69a to 69g UrhG, otherwise the general provisions from the BGB can be used. It must be noted that legal transactions on property rights are so-called “daring deals”: ​​The contracting parties must be aware that in the case of unexamined rights, the property rights may be non-existent and in the case of checked property rights, they may be destroyed. Since in most cases the author is unable to exploit the work himself, he can grant another user a right of use , Section 29 (2) UrhG. This is done either by concluding a license agreement or an exploitation agreement .

International Copyright Contract Law

The general rules of international private law apply to international copyright contract law , which are directly applicable in accordance with Art. 3 No. 1 EGBGB. Thus, according to Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No. 593/2008 (Rome I), party autonomy applies . If no law is chosen, the objective link according to Article 4 Rome I takes place. Art. 11 EGBGB applies to the form .

Collecting societies

Often it is not possible for the copyright holders to effectively exercise their claims. Collecting societies were set up to make this easier . These are combinations that after § 2 of para. 1 collecting society law "several legal owner on behalf of copyright or related rights for their collective benefit" perceive. Among the best known are the society for musical performance and mechanical reproduction rights , the collecting society Wort , the society for the exploitation of ancillary copyrights and the collecting society Bild-Kunst .

25 regional courts for copyright disputes

Copyright litigation courts

For legal disputes about copyright claims (copyright disputes) the ordinary legal process is always given ( § 104 UrhG). The jurisdiction is concentrated on certain local and regional courts (cf. § 105 UrhG).



Comments and manuals

Text collections

  • Achim Förster, Ralf Uhrich, Florian Mächtel (eds.): Intellectual property: collection of regulations on industrial legal protection, copyright and competition law . 5th edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-16-154394-4 .
  • Andreas Heinemann (Ed.): Commercial legal protection, competition law, copyright . Loose-leaf collection. 61st edition. Beck, Munich April 2018.
  • Hans-Peter Hillig (Ed.): Copyright and Publishing Law . 17th edition. dtv, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-406-72203-5 .

Case law collections

  • Haimo Schack , Florian Jotzo, Benjamin Raue (eds.): Intellectual property in 50 key decisions: 50 highest court judgments on industrial property rights and copyright with suggestions for deepening . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-16-151802-7 .
  • Marcel Schulze (Ed.): Case law on copyright . Loose-leaf collection. 51st edition. Beck, Munich 2006 (discontinued with this delivery). [Justified by Erich Schulze .]
  • Artur-Axel Wandtke (Ed.): Case law on copyright: Brief commentary on the most important BGH decisions . De Gruyter, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-11-026606-1 .



  • Walter Bappert: Ways to Copyright: The Historical Development of the Copyright Thought . Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1962.
  • Barbara Dölemeyer: Copyright and Publishing Law . In: Helmut Coing (Hrsg.): Handbook of the sources and literature of the recent European history of private law . tape 3 , half volume 3 ("Legislation on special areas under private law"). Beck, Munich 1986, p. 3955-4066 .
  • Ludwig Gieseke: From Privilege to Copyright: The Development of Copyright in Germany until 1845 . Schwartz, Göttingen 1995, ISBN 3-509-01682-3 .
  • Catharina Maracke: The Origin of the Copyright Act of 1965 . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-10960-0 .
  • Martin Vogel: German copyright and publishing law history between 1450 and 1850: Social and methodological development stages of the rights of writers and publishers . In: Archives for the history of the book industry . tape 19 , 1978, Sp. 1-190 .

Trade journals

Web links

Commons : German copyright law  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Legal sources


Individual evidence

  1. Vogel, German copyright and publishing law history between 1450 and 1850 , 1978, op. Cit., Col. 164. Christian F. Eisenlohr, Collection of Laws and International Treaties for the Protection of the Literary-Artistic, documents the status of legislation in other countries Ownership in Germany, France and England , Bangel and Schmitt, Heidelberg 1856 (digitized via Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 12-bsb10601249-7 ), p. 5 ff.
  2. See § 1 UrhG; Loewenheim in ders., Handbook of Copyright , 2nd edition 2010, § 1 Rn. 1, 4.
  3. See Hertin, Copyright , 2nd ed. 2008, Rn. 1.
  4. See for example Gieseke, Vom Privileg zum Copyright , 1995, op. Cit., P. XIII; Vogel in Schricker / Loewenheim, copyright , 5th edition 2017, introduction marginal no. 117 ff. Anyone who evaluates the privilege period as an early phase of copyright law will of course prefer a different delimitation. Elmar Wadle, introducing the “historians' dispute(Schack) of the 1960s and 1970s that resulted from this, explains the pre- or early history of copyright law? For a discussion of the privileges against reprinting , in: Archive for Copyright, Film, Radio and Theater Law (UFITA) , Vol. 106, 1987, pp. 95-107, in particular pp. 95-97.
  5. ^ Dölemeyer, Copyright and Publishing Law , 1986, op. Cit., P. 4008; Gieseke, From the Privilege to Copyright , 1995, op.cit., P. XIV.
  6. ^ Dölemeyer, Copyright and Publishing Law , 1986, op. Cit., P. 4009; Gieseke, From Privilege to Copyright , 1995, op.cit., P. 150 ff.
  7. Berger in Berger / Wündisch, Copyright Contract Law , 2nd edition 2015, § 1 Rn. 1, 8. One such was originally envisaged, cf. the official justification, BT-Drs. 4/270 of March 23, 1962, p. 56. On the (lack of) readiness in the following decades to help this plan to be implemented: Adolf Dietz, Introduction: The copyright law in its legal-political meaning , in: Friedrich-Karl Beier (Ed. ), Copyright contract law: Ceremony for Gerhard Schricker on his 60th birthday , Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-39690-9 , pp. 1–50, here pp. 7–9.
  8. Berger in Berger / Wündisch, Copyright Contract Law , 2nd edition 2015, § 1 Rn. 10; Rehbinder / Peukert, Copyright and Related Rights , 18th ed. 2018, Rn. 81.
  9. The data are Katzenberger / Metzger in Schricker / Loewenheim, copyright , 5th edition 2017, before §§ 120 ff. Rn. 14 ff. The date of entry into force of the WIPO treaties follows WIPO, WCT Notification No. 76 (Accessions or Ratifications by the European Union and some of its Member States) , December 14, 2009, accessed March 25, 2018.
  10. See the list at Katzenberger / Metzger in Schricker / Loewenheim, copyright , 5th edition 2017, before §§ 120 ff. Rn. 56.
  11. Walter in Mestmäcker / Schulze, copyright , status: 55th AL 2011, before §§ 120 ff. Rn. 13, 18.
  12. Compilation by Schack, Copyright and Copyright Contract Law , 8th edition 2017, Rn. 139.
  13. BVerfGE 31, 229 (240 f.) - School book privilege ; see also Bryde in von Münch / Kunig, Basic Law , vol. 1, 6th edition 2012, art. 14 marginal no. 65. In detail: Volker M. Jänich, Intellectual property - a complementary phenomenon to property ownership? , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, ISBN 3-16-147647-6 .
  14. On the protection of interpreters: BVerfGE 81, 208 (219) - Bob Dylan . On sound carrier manufacturer protection: BVerfGE 142, 74 - Sampling , Rn. 69; 81, 12 (16) - rental reservation .
  15. Schack, Copyright and Copyright Contract Law , 8th edition 2017, Rn. 90; Hertin, Copyright , 2nd edition 2008, Rn. 29. This has not yet been understood in the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court, cf. Andreas Paulus, Copyright and Constitution , in: Thomas Dreier and Reto M. Hilty (Eds.), From magnetic tape to social media: Festschrift 50 Years of Copyright Law (UrhG) , Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68519-4 , Pp. 55–77, here p. 61.
  16. Andreas Paulus, Copyright and Constitution , in: Thomas Dreier and Reto M. Hilty (eds.), From magnetic tape to social media: Festschrift 50 Years of Copyright Law (UrhG) , Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68519- 4 , pp. 55-77, here p. 61; in depth, also on the question of the nature of the competition between norms: Frank Fechner, Intellectual Property and Constitution: Creative Achievements Under the Protection of the Basic Law , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-146991-7 , pp. 256–283; especially for the protection of the author through artistic freedom: Katja Dahm, The protection of the author through artistic freedom , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-16-152200-0 .
  17. BVerfGE 142, 74 - Sampling , Rn. 115 ff .; 129, 78 (103) - Le Corbusier furniture ; Andreas Paulus, Copyright and Constitution , in: Thomas Dreier and Reto M. Hilty (Eds.), From magnetic tape to social media: Festschrift 50 Years of Copyright Law (UrhG) , Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68519-4 , Pp. 55–77, here p. 58.
  18. BVerfGE 142, 74 - Sampling , Rn. 122.
  19. BVerfGE 58, 300 (334) - Wet gravel . See Wendt in Sachs, Basic Law , 7th edition 2014, Art. 14 marginal no. 54.
  20. Wendt in Sachs, Basic Law , 7th edition 2014, Art. 14 para. 72.
  21. Illustrative: BGH, decision of June 1, 2017, I ZR 139/15 = GRUR 2017, 901 - Afghanistan papers .
  22. Andreas Paulus, Copyright and Constitution , in: Thomas Dreier and Reto M. Hilty (eds.), From magnetic tape to social media: Festschrift 50 Years of Copyright Law (UrhG) , Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68519- 4 , pp. 55-77, here p. 65.
  23. BVerfGE 142, 74 - Sampling , Rn. 86; also already BVerfG, decision of June 29, 2000, 1 BvR 825/98 = NJW 2001, 598, 599 - Germania 3 .
  24. a b c d e f g Peter Lutz: Floor plan of copyright . CF Müller, Heidelberg 2009, Rn. 37-86d.
  25. ^ Haimo Schack : Copyright and Copyright Contract Law . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2009, Rn. 155.
  26. a b Peter Lutz: Outline of Copyright . CF Müller, Heidelberg 2009, Rn. 87-129.
  27. Czychowki: § 9 Rn. 59 . In: Ulrich Loewenheim (Ed.): Handbook of Copyright . 2003.
  28. a b c d Peter Lutz: Ground plan of copyright . CF Müller, Heidelberg 2009, Rn. 160-197.
  29. "With luck, he'll get out of it". In: April 27, 2011, accessed March 11, 2018 .
  30. ^ Haimo Schack : Copyright and Copyright Contract Law . 4th edition. Mohr Siebeck , Tübingen 2007, ISBN 3-16-148595-5 , Rn. 752-791a.
  31. a b c d Haimo Schack : Copyright and copyright contract law . 4th edition. Mohr Siebeck , Tübingen 2007, ISBN 3-16-148595-5 , Rn. 1142-1152.
  32. Peter Lutz: Ground plan of the copyright . CF Müller, Heidelberg 2009, Rn. 794-825.