German industry rocked by Federal Supreme Court ruling

German industry rocked by Federal Supreme Court ruling

A court ruling that ends the decades-long practice of distributing copyright levies equally between authors and publishers is rocking Germany’s book industry.

According to the German Federal Supreme Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), publishers are not entitled to half of the monies distributed by the collecting society Verwertungsgesellschaft (VG) Wort.

BGH ruled in favour of author and copyright expert Martin Vogek who set the ball rolling when he took VG Wort to court in 2011. The court upheld two earlier rulings, both contested by VG Wort, that distributions can only be made to the h...

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