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Copyrights and related rights

Copyrights protect literary or artistic works that are ‘original’ in the sense that they bear the ‘mark’ of the maker. Copyrights and related rights are essentially exclusive rights under which the proprietor can prohibit others from reproducing his works or communicating them or making them available to the public. This subject matter is harmonised more and more across borders. At the international level, this is accomplished through treaties, at the European level through directives and explanatory case law.

A complete understanding of the relevant legislation and case law is – like insight into the practices in the sector – a necessary condition if you, as an author, composer, artist, producer, broadcaster or other entitled party, wish to protect and exploit your rights.

Throughout the years our firm has built up strong practical experience in the drafting and negotiating of author agreements (including publishing agreements), artist agreements, licence agreements (including obtaining consent, so called ‘clearances’, for dubbing in radio and television spots or films, adaptations and/or translations), distribution agreements, production agreements, broadcasting agreements, and any and all other agreements in the creative sector. Resolute insight into the interests and mechanisms of the creative sector is a decisive trump card with which our firm distinguishes itself from others.  

In addition to offering advice and carrying on contract negotiations both nationally and internationally our firm assists several parties during the start and expansion of their activities and the protection of their relevant rights. The enforcement of these rights, e.g. in case of ‘counterfeiting’ (imitation, depending on the context also referred to as ‘plagiarism’ or ‘piracy’), forms an inextricable part of this. To enforce these rights the most appropriate legal proceedings are, where necessary, instituted and the customs authorities are, where possible, involved. Our firm also offers legal and business advice in terms of the selection of the most appropriate operational structure when exploiting the intellectual property rights, joining collective management organisations (also referred to as “collecting societies”) and negotiating membership terms, the drafting of model agreements, etc. Finally, our firm is also consulted for ‘due diligence’ assignments in case of takeovers of businesses that have built up intellectual property.