Sun, Nov. 25, 2007

Royalty Societies

CK - Washington.   Royalty societies in Germany. such as VG Wort for texts, manage various statutory royalties for the exploitation of intellectual property rights. They ensure revenue collection and distribution for authors and inventors. They reduce administrative overhead of, and generally simplify, licensing activities.

At the same time, they burden publishers and manufacturers with accounting and payment obligations. New products and media, from digital printers to flash memory, may not directly involve copyrighted content, such as music or scientific articles. But they are capable of generating and distributing copies of such material and, therefore, affect licensing of intellectual property. Imports of products that have not been subject to royalty collection at the source become cumbersome.

When the second basket of major revisions to Germany copyright law, zweiter Korb, will become effective on January 1, 2008, recent and future technologies should become subject to mandatory participation in the royalty management system administered by the IP royalty societies. A comprehensive, German-language introduction into the legal and business aspects of such societies is available as a PDF download, 6 politik und kultur--Zeitung des Deutschen Kulturrats, 32 (2007).

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