Sociology Index

German Copyright Law

German copyright law or Deutsches Urheberrecht is similar to "droit d'auteur". Germany has implemented the EU Copyright Directive. German copyright law had used 70 years after the death of the author, and as the longest term of any member, was chosen. In 1501, the first recorded copyright privilege in Germany was issued  by the Aulic Council to an association entitled the Sodalitas Rhenana Celtica, for the publication of an edition of the dramas of Hroswitha of Gandersheim. In 1512, an Imperial privilege was issued to the historiographer John Stadius which was the first European privilege made to cover more than a single work, or undertaking to protect books not yet published.

In 1794, the Prussian Parliament enacted a legislation which was accepted by most states of Germany (except Württemberg and Mecklenburg). Under this legislation all German authors, and foreign authors whose works were represented by publishers taking part in the book fairs in Frankfort and Leipzig, were to be protected throughout the states of Germany against unauthorized reprints.

There is no corporate copyright in Germany and the fundamental rights cannot be transferred except by heritage.