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Date: 07/12/2019 11 a.m. - noon
Location: Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht, Günterstalstraße 73, 79100 Freiburg im Breisgau
Contact Person: Dr. Carolin Hillemanns
Email: c.hillemanns@mpicc.de
Organized by: IMPRS REMEP & MPICC

Au­thor-meets-crit­ic ses­sion: 12:00 – 13:00 | Dis­cussant: Es­th­er Earbin (PhD Can­did­ate, In­ter­na­tion­al Max Planck Re­search School on Re­tali­ation, Me­di­ation and Pun­ish­ment; PhD­net Ex­tern­al Rep­res­ent­at­ive; PhD­net Gen­er­al Sec­ret­ary Max Planck So­ci­ety)

The guest lec­ture is open to the pub­lic. However, we kindly ask that you re­gister your at­tend­ance be­fore­hand.

The pen­al pro­vi­sions of the Ger­man Copy­right Act (§§ 106 ff. UrhG) are clas­sic pro­vi­sions of sup­ple­ment­ary crim­in­al law. Be­ha­vi­or pro­hib­ited by the Copy­right Act is pun­ish­able un­der these reg­u­la­tions. The Copy­right Act is primar­ily civil law. It mainly reg­u­lates civil law claims, in par­tic­u­lar in­junct­ive re­lief and claims for dam­ages. Apart from that, however, it also defines when a copy­righted work ex­ists and what is to be un­der­stood by re­pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion or com­mu­nic­a­tion of the work to the pub­lic. Fur­ther­more, the con­di­tions un­der which such an ac­tion is per­miss­ible or pro­hib­ited find their reg­u­la­tion.
If there is an – un­der civil law – pro­hib­ited act, the be­ha­vi­or is reg­u­larly pun­ish­able. In this re­spect, the crim­in­al pro­vi­sions of copy­right law are “ac­cess­ory to civil law”. The concept of the copy­righted work and the acts of re­pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion and pub­lic com­mu­nic­a­tion as well as the cases “per­mit­ted by law” are gov­erned by the un­der­ly­ing civil law pro­vi­sions. Nev­er­the­less, civil law dis­putes over copy­right is­sues are fre­quent, but crim­in­al con­vic­tions are rare. This is as­ton­ish­ing, since one could as­sume that any civil sen­tence for copy­right in­fringe­ment is fol­lowed by a cor­res­pond­ing crim­in­al con­vic­tion. Why this is not the case will be ad­dressed in this lec­ture. Firstly, the prac­tice of crim­in­al con­vic­tions will be ana­lyzed, and it will be asked why they rarely oc­cur. Secondly, “break­throughs” of civil law ac­cessor­i­ness will be ex­amined, which can lead to the fact that crim­in­al law and civil law fall apart. In a third part, ref­er­ence will be made to de lege fer­enda con­sid­er­a­tions.