Implementing the EU Copyright Directive in Germany

The 7th Copyright Conference on 11 November in Berlin focused on the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive in Germany.

The Copyright Conference is organised every year since 2013 by the “Initiative Urheberrecht”, a grouping of more than 35 trade associations and trade unions representing 140.000 authors and artists with the goal to promote copyright and authors right.

A major focus of the conference was on how the EU copyright reform strengthens authors and performers rights against unfair contracts and royalties to achieve a fair share of the exploitation of their works on the Internet.

In general, speakers expressed satisfaction with the EU Directive. By introducing new liability obligations, legislation finally obliges large internet platforms to take responsibility for content uploaded by users so that rights holders and authors, whose works they make publicly accessible, receive money for these uses.

Representatives of CMOs VG Wort (print) and VG Bildkunst (visual) outlined their views on new licensing models and on the implications of a possible introduction of Extended Collective Licensing in German law. Both speakers presented the ECL scheme as a flexible solution, as it allows for opt-out, fit for the digital age. They explained that Art.12 of the EU Directive relative to Extended Collective Licensing is not “Must” provision but a “Can” provision that EU Member States are free to anchor in their national legislation. As a consequence national solutions may vary. Since the particularity of the ECL scheme is to extend to authors who are not yet affiliated to a collecting society, collective management organisations would have to reach agreement with other originator groups, such as Youtubern or, as explained by Dr. Pappi, CEO of Bildkunst, in his presentation (see here) to picture agencies.  

 Transcripts and slides may all be downloaded on the site here