Dealing with Collection Societies

Johannes Ulbricht, In-house Legal Counsel, Exit Games GmbH, Germany

Copyright questions are daily bread and butter routine for many in-house counsels. Regardless of whether the field of business of a company is related to copyright and media or not, for example the web presence, internal and external press review and advertising activities already keep most counsels in constant touch with that field of work. However, as daily copyright routine is mostly focused on doing licensing contracts, the possibility of financial claims by Collection Societies is often overseen. The legal environment of Collection Societies is essentially different from 'normal' copyright law. Set out below are some of the more notable differences and corresponding strategies for dealing successfully with Collection Societies, based on the authors past experiences with (mainly) European and (to some extend) US Collection Societies.

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