GRP Rainer LLP

Distribution of Pictures Cannot Be Prohibited by Publishers

By grant of exclusive rights in favor of a publishing company, a photographer does not lose, in all cases, the right of use for individual photos of a series.


Cologne, Germany -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/10/2012 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, London elaborate: The higher regional court of Cologne decided with the judgment of the 21/12/2011 (File number: 6 U 118/11) in favor of the artist. When the right of use was transferred to the publishing company by the artist for a certain book project, then the publishing company cannot forbid the use of pictures in the absence of a suitable alternative arrangement; to which extent an author allows for the right of use for third parties is determined by the contents of any signed contracts. The publishing company cannot oppose the utilization of photos to third parties, which have been authorized by the photographer. With the surrender of the rights for the production of a collected work it depends, in the opinion of the court, primarily on the special choice and arrangement of the photographs and texts, so that another use of a photograph does not stand in opposition to any contractual agreements.

The contracting partner can count on a drive towards unanimous contract - goals and needs, should there not be enough existing and explicit regulation. Moreover, is to be questioned whether the grant of handing on rights of use is generally necessary for the fulfillment of the contract - goal.

The decision of the higher regional court clarified that copyrights should remain with the author. Nevertheless, an exception exists: if an explicit, divergent regulation with regard to the transference of right of use exists. Should a copyright infringement have occurred, a lawyer who is active in copyright law, can support you with your compensation claims.

Moreover, a lawyer can help you by protecting your rights. Thus you can prevent civil disputes and protect your copyrights against abuse. Claims against any liable party can be enforced quickly.

In order that you do not, mistakenly, make yourselves liable for damages towards the author of a work, a lawyer who is active in copyright law, should check on, as early as possible, existing copyrights and licenses. A lawyer can offer you comprehensive legal advice.
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