Atty. Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. discusses upcoming copyright reform with Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD), and German artists Julia Neigel and Peter Maffay
by ZELLER & SEYFERT
Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) invited Attorney Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. and a number of well-known German artists, including Julia Neigel and Peter Maffay, to a one-hour expert discussion on the upcoming copyright reform in Germany. The one-hour discussion took place via video conference on February 22nd, 2021.
The federal government's current draft law has been the subject of controversial public debate. Attorney Dr. Seyfert had summarized 13 points of criticism of this draft law in advance. In the discussion on February 22nd, Dr. Seyfert and the artists who participated in the discussion criticized the elimination of the copyright protection of melodies provided for in the draft law, which is still regulated in the current Copyright Act in § 24 (2) of the German Copyright Act (UrhG).
Dr. Seyfert and all present artists also voiced strong criticism against the planned §§ 9 et seq. Copyright Service Providers Act (Urheberrechts-Diensteanbieter-Gesetz, UrhDaG) in the Federal Government's draft bill. These planned regulations provide for a reversal of the burden of proof to the detriment of authors and artists in the form of "presumed authorised uses" if a user has marked a video uploaded to an online platform as authorised, even if the author or artist in question had not given him permission. § 10 UrhDaG provides for a so-called de minimis limit, according to which 15 seconds of a musical work may be used even against the will of an author or artist. The exclusive monopoly right of the copyright owner regarding their copyright-protected work would be excluded to this extent. Ms. Julia Neigel and Mr. Peter Maffay sharply criticised this regulation because they still want to determine who streams their songs on the internet in the future. 15 seconds usually make up the heart of a song.
The discussion among the participants is to be continued. Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) has invited Dr. Seyfert, Julia Neigel, Peter Maffay and other artists to a follow-up discussion. This discussion is expected to take place directly at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Berlin on March 22nd, 2021.
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