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Copyright - Copyright Law

The copyright in the Federal Republic of Germany has been newly regulated in accordance with the new version of the copyright law which came into force on 13.9.2003. It provides protection for literature, science and art. The following works are considered worthy of protection in connection with the law of copyright and §2 (1):

  • linguistic works
  • works of music
  • works of pantomime and dance
  • works and drafts of fine and applied arts
  • photographic arts
  • movies
  • illustrations of scientific and technical nature: plans, maps, drafts, tables, plastic

The law expressively concerns "only personal spiritual creations" in accordance with §2 (2) . §69a ff contains "Special regulations for computer programs". In this connection it is emphasized that it has to relate to individual works, and that these are a "result of an own spiritual creation of their originator." (§69a, paragraph 3 UrhG). In case of it solely being "ideas and principles" of computer programs, they are not protected by the copyright.

Also the exhaustion of copyrights has been stipulated in §§69c (3):If a reproduction piece of a computer program is copied and then brought into transit within the European Union with the prior consent of the proprietor, the distribution right concerning this reproduction piece is exhausted at that moment of time; this does not effect the rental rights. Consequently nothing stands in way of a resale of the reproduction piece.


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