Hengeler Mueller successfully represents Google in legal dispute with VG Media on claims under the ancillary copyright for press publishers
10. June 2020
On 4 June 2020, the collecting society VG Media formally withdrew the claims it had asserted against Google under the ancillary copyright for press publishers before the Berlin Regional Court. This ends a dispute which has lasted more than six years on the question of whether VG Media or its rightholders have claims against Google under the ancillary copyright introduced in Germany in 2013. The recent development follows a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in September 2019, stating that the new ancillary copyright for press publishers should have been notified to the Commission under Directive 98/34/EC, which the Federal Republic of Germany had not done. According to case law of the CJEU, national provisions adopted in breach of the notification obligation may not be applied.
Hengeler Mueller represented Google in the proceedings before the Berlin Regional Court and the CJEU. The team included partners Albrecht Conrad (Copyright Law) and Wolfgang Spoerr (Copyright Law/European Law), counsel Matthias Berberich as well as associates Tobias Schubert, Antonia Wegener, Amit Datta and Helene Gounalakis (all Copyright Law) (all Berlin).