Film Law

Attorneys for Film Law in Germany: Legal Enforcement of Film Rights

ZELLER & SEYFERT is a German law firm with experienced litigators who are specialized in the legal enforcement of film rights in Germany in and out of court. Head of the film law department of our law firm is Attorney Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. (USA). He is a Certified Copyright & Media Law Specialist as well as a Certified IP Law Specialist. Christian has been representing international motion picture companies in Germany for many years. He is a respected expert in the enforcement of film rights in Germany in and out of court. He is familiar with the movie business and speaks the film language of his clients. Google

Among our film law clients rank in particular:

Typical cases of application / areas of film law in Germany:

  • Copyright Law and Copyright Litigation
  • Trademark Law
  • Right of Publicity (defamation, libel, slander, etc.)
  • Biopics and films about real events (mockumentaries etc.)
  • Image Law & Photo Law
  • Net Profits
  • Distribution of film profits
  • Synchronization Licenses
  • Master Use Licenses
  • Motion Picture Music Licensing
  • Soundtrack Recording Agreements
  • Depiction Releases
  • Film Clip Licenses
  • Option and Literary Purchase Agreements
  • Quitclaim Releases
  • Submission Releases
  • Loan-Out companies for artists, directors or writers
  • Actor Employment Agreements
  • Nudity Riders
  • Youth Protection Law
  • Screenplay Writer Employment Agreements
  • Screenplay Writer Collaboration Agreements
  • Cinematization / screen adaptions of novels
  • Director Employment Agreements
  • Novelization of Films
  • Presale Agreements
  • Production Services Agreements
  • Co-Production Agreements
  • Casting Director Employment Agreements
  • Film Agency Contracts
  • Producer Employment Agreements
  • Special Effects Agreements
  • Film Distribution Agreements
  • Television Distribution Agreements
  • Home Video Licensing Agreements (DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.)
  • Multi Media Distribution Agreements
  • Merchandising Agreements (film)
  • Independent Films
  • Negative Pick-Up Agreements
  • Film financing
  • Completion Bonds
  • Video-on-demand
  • Online marketing of movies
  • Completion Bonds
  • Disputes about the film title

Attorneys for Film Law in Germany: Legal Representation before the Copyright Courts and General Courts in Germany

ZELLER & SEYFERT is a German law firm with experienced litigators who specialize in representing clients in all aspects of film law cases before German courts. Responsible in Germany for court review of copyright disputes concerning motion pictures are the specialized courts for copyright litigation within the general courts (Small Claims Courts, District Courts and Courts of Appeal). The specialized courts for copyright litigation also have jurisdiction over disputes concerning performing rights (neighboring rights) of actresses, actors and other performing artists.

The civil departments in the general German courts have jurisdiction, when issues of privacy and publicity, e.g. of the actresses and actors, are in dispute. The general courts also decide cases concerning image law and photo law.

Litigation in film law matters is our forte. Please contact our internationally minded attorneys for more information.

Attorneys for Film Law in Germany: Legal Representation in Summary Proceedings (Speedy Trials)

In cases of particular urgency our attorneys will speedily enforce the motion picture copyrights of your motion picture company in a summary proceeding (speedy trial) before the responsible German court. Summary proceedings (speedy trials) can also be commenced to preliminary enforce the neighboring rights of actresses, actors and other performing artists who participated in the production of the film. If needed, our attorneys also promptly seek an injunction on your behalf with respect to certain privacy and publicity issues of the actresses, actors and other performing artists which may come up during the production of the movie or afterwards.

Our attorneys are familiar with the peculiarities of injunction proceedings in film law disputes before German courts. Please just contact us for further information.

Attorneys for Film Law in Germany: Cease and Desist Letters – Pre-Litigation Representation out of court

According to German law, copyright owners of motion pictures as well as owners of all other forms of film related rights, e.g. neighboring rights of performing artists, rights in photos and images, privacy and publicity rights etc., generally have the obligation to inform the infringing party with a cease and desist letter out of court about their legal violations. Rushing to court without having tried an out of court settlement beforehand may otherwise result in having to pay the entire court fees even if your film company later wins the lawsuit.

Our attorneys will demand from the infringing party on behalf of your film company that they cease and desist from infringing upon your film rights. Our attorneys will also claim on your behalf in particular damages and the destruction of illegally produced copies of the film. If the infringing party chooses not to cooperate with our attorneys, our attorneys will enforce the film rights of your company before the courts in Germany.

Attorneys for Film Law in Germany: Defending Clients in Film Law Conflicts

Unlike in the USA, a plaintiff before a German court bears the full burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for all of his claims also in a civil lawsuit. If film law related claims have been put forward against your company or your company has been sued before a German court, our attorneys will defend your company against the plaintiff. Please just contact us for a quick evaluation of your case and if the plaintiff meets the high standard of proof against you.

German and International Film Law Disputes

Film art knows no boundaries. Movies are commonly exhibited in movie theaters worldwide. Actresses, actors and other performing artists are known and celebrated internationally. Film rights as well as privacy and publicity rights are exploited multi-nationally.

Out of years of experience with complex litigation, our attorneys are familiar with representing international film law issues in court. They will let you know to what extent German courts have jurisdiction in your film law case and whether German law applies. Our attorneys will effectively enforce your film rights in Germany. Please just contact us. We will discuss your film law case in detail with you.

Your Contact Person in Film Law Matters

Do you still have questions related to film law issues? Your contact person in our law firm concerning issues related to film law, copyright law, image and photo law, neighboring rights, privacy and publicity is Attorney at Law Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. (USA). Christian is a Certified Copyright & Media Law Specialist as well as a Certified IP Law Specialist. He is the head of the film law department in our law firm. Please just contact Christian by e-mail ( or by phone (+49 (0)69-58 80 972-40).


Recommended links:

Federal Court of Justice of Germany: Neighboring rights to individual images of a film include the right to exploit the individual images in the form of the film (Judgment of February 6, 2014, Case I ZR 86/12) (in German language)

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