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Important Changes in Copyright Law from June 7, 2023

Significant changes in copyright law will come into effect from June 7, 2023, affecting authors, website operators, and licensees of copyrighted works. These changes aim to promote transparency and fairness in dealing with intellectual property and strengthen copyright in the digital era.

Responsibilities with the Copyright Law Changes

Authors of works such as photos, articles, and music must now receive annual reports on the use of their works. This regulation ensures fair compensation for authors based on the proceeds from their works and safeguards their rights.

Website operators are facing new obligations. Starting from June 7, they must annually report to the web designer if they use graphics or other content that they did not create themselves. This enhances clarity and fairness in handling copyrighted content.

Copyright Law Changes in Reporting Usage

Previously, the author could request information about the use of their works. Now, it is the responsibility of the licensee – the user of the work – to provide this information. This marks a significant shift in responsibilities and strengthens copyright.

Emphasis on Author Contributions

It is important to note that this regulation was made possible by authors who have licensed their works under remunerative usage rights. This underscores the significance of the author’s contribution. Clear criteria need to be established for determining when the reporting obligation may be considered disproportionate. This responsibility falls to the legislator or the judiciary to protect the interests of authors.

Preparation for Website Operators and Online Shop Owners

Website operators and online shop owners must prepare by:

  1. Reviewing the copyrighted works they have licensed.
  2. Determining whether they are subject to a reporting obligation.
  3. Establishing a system for documenting the extent of usage, proceeds, and benefits from copyrighted content unless the exception under § 32d(2) UrhG applies.

These measures are essential to meet the new legal requirements while respecting the rights of authors. Promoting transparency and fairness in dealing with intellectual property contributes to creating a more balanced and just environment for creators and users and adapting copyright to the demands of the digital world.

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