The German Copyright Act came into force on January 1, 1966 - meaning that it will have been in effect for nearly 50 years when the conference on the "The future of Authors´ Rights" takes place. The German Copyright Act has been reformed numerous times and even now, some 50 years after its adoption, it needs to be further adapted to allow for recent technological developments.

The "digital agendas" developed in Germany and the EU place particularly high demands on the future development of copyright law.

Law experts, creators and performing artists, and the cultural and creative industries alike will be kept busy in 2015 by anticipated proposals to implement the plans of EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Günther Oettinger, the submission of proposals for reform by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection on the implementation of the coalitionagreement with respect to the reform of both private copying and copyright contract law, as well as the development of TTIP negotiations.

The conference will deal with the current amendments, and, above all, with the following future issues:

  • Do we need new licensing models and what form should they take?
  • How is the relationship between creators and users evolving?
  • In what direction is legislation developing the role and responsibility of intermediaries?
  • How are the rights of users protected in an environment in which data are the "currency" in which users pay?
  • Do we need additional taxation systems to facilitate the use of rights (e.g., in connection with cloud computing and the use of data networks and platforms)?
  • What legislative measures are needed to ensure the politically desired easier access to the use of copyrighted works in education and science while ensuring equitable remuneration?


We will examine both the situation in Germany and the international situation, especially with regard to Brussels, with a particular focus on the audiovisual sector - which is faced with special requirements in these times of digitization and globalization. The re-evaluation of the territorial principle in copyright law plays an important role in this regard.

Recent developments in the music industry are equally important. They will form a focal point of the discussion, particularly through the analysis of licensing models developed in recent years, including free licenses such as Creative Commons.

Finally, the issues arising in the fields of literature and image/art will also be discussed. These fields are under particular pressure to act with regard to the demands of science and education.

Legal scholars, sociologists, and economists, together with creators and performing artists as well as representatives of the cultural industries - publishers, producers, TV channel representatives - will enter into discussion with politicians who play a decisive role in the national and international legislation.

All participants will try to look to the near but also the medium and longer-term future and to formulate perspectives - for Germany, for Europe, and also globally.

The conference is an international event. The official conference languages will be German and English.