Urheberrechtliche Verträge über unbekannte Nutzungsarten und ihre AGB-Kontrolle
1. Edition 2011
Schriften zum deutschen und internationalen Persönlichkeits- und Immaterialgüterrecht -
For more than forty years it had not been possible under German copyright law to grant licenses with respect to forms of use not known at the time the agreement was concluded. While the former version of the German Copyright Act declared such grants of rights void, this prohibition was lifted on 1 January 2008 and replaced with essentially two means to safeguard the author’s rights. It is now allowed, within certain statutory limits, to grant rights of unknown forms of use. As interpreted by German courts, a form of use will be regarded as known only if it is both technically known and commercially exploitable. In this context, for example, exploitation on the internet has been a known form of use since about 1995, while DVDs have been known since 1999.
This thesis deals firstly with the new statutory specifications for unknown forms of use, and the consequences for the contractual relationship of the license parties if such rights are granted. In recognition of the significance of general terms and conditions in more recent license agreements, the second part of the thesis is dedicated to the control of standard terms concerned with future forms of use as well as copyright grants in general. For this purpose, the author examines the statutory requirements for content control as set up by German civil law and their application on copyright license agreements.