GRP Rainer LLP

Moral and Personal Rights in Light of the German Copyright Law

The holder of a right is entitled to various rights of copyright including, for example, moral rights.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/24/2013 -- GRP Rainer Attorneys and Tax Accountants in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London explain: Moral rights as such include the right of publicity and the prohibition on distortion which are each derived from Copyright Law (UrhG). If, for example, a computer program is created by an employee in the course of carrying out employment duties or under the authority of the employer, such related rights will remain reserved with the employer even after termination of employment and restrictions on such rights, of course, must be observed.

This applies in particular with regard to the rule on distortion because the employer, who also remains proprietary owner according to Copyright Law (UrhG), must be able to develop the program created by empoylees.

A further moral rights stemming from Copyright Law (UrhG) is the prohibition on amendments and changes which prohibits the user of a program to modify the work if such a user is not entitled to do so. Such a permission may be given upon approval or due to tolerance obligation from the author or originator. Exceptions to the prohibition on amendments and changes are possible, particularly, for example, when changes or amendments are made as a result of error corrections). Exceptions may also be possible, for example, by individual contractual agreements.

If the author grants an exclusive right to a third party and this third party does not make proper use of this right, for example, by not sufficiently exercising the right and therefore harming copyright interests, the author may enact a callback of the right, which, however, does not affect the possibilities of use granted by the copyright holder to third parties.

In this respect, it can be helpful to determine the roles of those involved from the outset and to create appropriate contracts or supporting documents so that, in the case that a right is asserted to make any claims in regards to copyright law or attribution, no ambiguities will exist.

Copyright law is a complex matter and in particular in cross-border situations. An attorney active in the area of copyright law can assist you in the preparation of contracts.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

Contact Michael Rainer
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GRP Rainer LLP
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50672 Cologne
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