Sports law in Germany

Sport Law is our passion and we have the pleasure to offer secure legal solutions for athletes, clubs, promoters, associations and other institutions. We evaluate your questions both form an economic and tactic point of you, trying to do our best in order to achieve great results, together.

Sport has to be clear and transparent. For this reason, compulsory and enforceable regulations are so important. This is what we stand for!

From a legal point of you, there is no other field of law, that describes clearly and distinctly the sector of sport law. Various sports have different regulations (national and international) and they are not equally applicable in each case to all parties. In addition the regulation of every sport, we also need to deal with the respective state´s law. Sport Law includes also cases of alleged manipulation and doping.

We are expert in sports law, especially in the following key points:

  • legal counseling and representation of athletes, sports organizers, sports federations and league providers, as well as the corresponding formation of all related sport agreements;
  • legal advice and representation in the context of sponsorship agreements, authorization assignment, league statutes, association and society agreements, etc.;
  • Development and testing of sport club’s articles of association, sport association charter and statutes, sponsorship agreements, marketing agreements (all media), sports rights agreements, sports license agreements, sports agency agreements, sports events agreements, sports organizers contracts, sports equipment contracts, horse contracts etc.;
  • Legal consultation and representation of gamer managers, sports managers, sports company consultants, sports marketers, and sports sponsors;
  • legal advice and representation before national and international sporting courts, as well as national courts and association or association courts;
  • legal advice and representation in doping procedures, cross-disciplinary proceedings as well as in cases of competition barriers, transfers etc.;
  • In the light of personal commitment, we also advise in the area of ​​animal rights, in particular, equestrian clubs, horse sport associations, horse breeders and horse owners, as well as private and professional riders and veterinarians (including horses and horse doping);
  • sports law advice in connection with the associations ‘creations, the drafting and alteration of statutes, the divestment of economic business operations, sponsoring contracts and business agreements (including TV rights);
  • prosecution of product piracy, infringements of sports law, trademark infringements, copyright infringements, violations of the right of self-determination with regards to public information, legal infringements in connection with verbal and image journalism.

German film business law

There is no particular „film law” in Germany: instead, the copyright, trademark and competition law provisions shall be used as guidelines and regulations for issues concerning television and licensed films.

During the development, production, exploitation and financing of film and television programs or productions, many people are involved in various legal positions of various natures, which lead to different legal bundles that need to be analysed case-by-case.

From a practical point of view, it is first and foremost fundamental to understand what is going to be produced (a film-production, a big-screen movie, a series etc.), from who is it going to be executed and produced (producers, executives, co-producers, film director, author etc.), and where (Germany, Europe, International-wise, via IPTV etc.) is this production going to be made and settled.

What am I expected to do as an author?

As an author, you will be expected to find an exposé in Germany, not a complete script, as in the USA for example. Before an exposé is sent to the film production, the aspects embodied in the exposé should be examined in the light of whether legal protection appears to be possible. This applies particularly to titles, characters or the work as such.  In contrast to the expose, a so-called “treatment”, which is typically matched with the production of the film, will be protected by the copyright law as a precursor to the script.

Who is generally entitled to the movie legal rights?

  • Film director (own copyrights)
  • Producer (ancillary copyright)
  • Cameraman (in case of considerable artistic work)
  • Sound Engineer (in case of considerable artistic work)
  • Cutter (in case of considerable artistic work)
  • Costume designer/ Stylist (in case of his/her own inventive artistic work)
  • Production Design (in case of considerable artistic work)
  • Film actor (§§ 73-83 German UrhG*, has no copyright to the whole work/film)

Which are the typical kinds of contracts used in film production?

There are typical kinds of contracts used according to film rights; these are designed on a case-by-case and this also confirms the diversity of the various types of contracts. Please consider that these are listed below only as example:

    • Director Contracts
    • Screenplay and filming contracts
    • Cast contracts
    • Audio-visual performers contracts
    • TV License agreements
    • Video and DVD Licence Agreements
    • Format evaluation contract
    • Production Contract
    • Distribution Agreement


Film Promotion/ Film Financing

In Germany, dominantly highly promoted films are produced. The sponsor generally can appear as producer or co-producer with “his” corresponding production company.

Publishing law in Germany

In what concerns the publishing legislation?

A Publishing Agreement authorizes the author to leave the work to the publisher for duplication and distribution in his representation. The publisher is obliged to reproduce and distribute the work as it is. Typical publishing contracts regard subjects of literary or musical works.

What is a „Publishing contract“?


The relationship between the authors and the publisher can be freely arranged. Some publishing contracts are based on the standard agreement of the Exchange Association. The non-binding Publishing Law (from 1901) regulates the main features.

What can we do for you?

  • Contracting and auditing of licensing agreements, remuneration agreements, publishing, editors and publishers administration contracts, including contracting for the production of sound, film and data media; (artists and bands publishing contract, distribution contracts, and performance contracts).
  • General media law including publishing, press, internet, music, film, television and event law as well as drafting contracts for film and television productions (scripted contracts, license agreements, production agreements);
  • Management, agency, consultancy and promotion contracts; media cooperation and merchandising agreements;
  • Protection of domain names, brand and company codes, hosting access, service and content provisions as well as general liability issues on the internet, in particular the liability for own and third-party sited or another type of networking;
  • Software and database law (with mobile commerce and MMS and digital rights management, ie handling of DRM systems, technical protection measures such as access control systems and copy protection system), in particular copy protection for audio CDs, DVDs as well as for film and multimedia DVDs and other data carriers;
  • Negotiation Management for authors with production and distribution companies;
  • Conduct negotiations between production and sale companies against authors;
  • Copyright examinations and evaluations, especially in the areas of design and art, as well as in the case of speech, sound and image works;
  • National and international law enforcement; utilization assessments (admissibility assessment of work use);
  • Judicial and arbitration enforcement of all kinds of copyrights, including interim injunctions and international legal proceedings.

Further topics and services offered by our Law Firm

  • Publishing Law;
  • Publishing Law Attorneys Hanover;
  • Verify, create the publishing license;
  • Publishers;
  • Authors;
  • Author´s contracts;
  • EBOOK-contracts;
  • Publishing company;
  • Book publishing;
  • Music publishing;
  • Publisher agreement;

German media law

What does „media law“means?

Media law as a separate legal area in the form of a single Act or even systematically from a legal view of ordered norms is not legally relevant in itself. The “Media Act” came from the former “new media” (BTX, modem, cable transmission, etc.). The term is still sector-oriented to the present, but encompasses both classical and “new” forms of media. As lawyers specialized in media law, we deal with the areas of classical media law, such as broadcasting law, broadcasting licenses rights, mechanical and performance rights, publishing rights, telecommunications law, but also all adjoining legal areas such as copyright, press law, film law, music law and data protection law. Of course, the focus is on aspects of new media such as eCommerce, eGovernment, ePayment (such as bitcoins), cloud computing or sales platforms such as iTunes or Amazon / eBay as well as the use of personal protective rights or third party rights, or third party websites, distribution platforms for media content and, in general, competition and antitrust law.

Where are „media law” regulated?

“Media law” is initially standardized in media-specific regulations such as state press laws, broadcasting laws, broadcasting agreements, telecommunications law, tele-media law, etc. However, the branch approach leads to the fact that media law also includes neighbouring legal areas with media references such as, for example, competition law, copyright, trademark law, publishing rights, anti-protection legislation, etc.

Media Law foundations using the Lower Saxony´s regulation as example:

The media enjoys special protection under Article 5 of the Basic German Law (Grundgesetzt). There is a very comprehensive basic right of freedom of opinion and press, which clearly shows the limits of state influence. On the other hand, it is not to be overlooked that media have a great influence. They inform, entertain and represent opinions. Media does not only represent reality; they also shape the reality in which we live. In view of the strong position of the media in our information society and its high socio-political importance, it is necessary – within the limits of Article 5 – to regulate and correct, if necessary, the media law system.

The legislative competence for those above-mentioned broadcasting laws depends on the German regions (Länder). To ensure that there are no 16 different regulations for the nation-wide electronic media (radio, television and online services), the regions have agreed in state treaties on federal legal bases. Thus, there are a number of different broadcasting state contracts (for example, the ARD State Treaty, the ZDF State Treaty, the Broadcasting State Treaty). In Lower Saxony, we also have the Lower Saxony Media Act for nationwide and regional private broadcasting. It regulates the organization of broadcasting of private broadcasters, media services in cable systems and the allocation of transmission capacities. The supervisory authority for private broadcasting is the Niedersächsische Landesmedienanstalt (NLM).

The legal basis for the activity of the Norddeutsche Rundfunks (NDR) is regulated in the NDR-Staatsvertrag. The NDR is a public service broadcasting corporation and is supported alongside the states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein. The Broadcasting Council has the program supervision on the NDR. The Lower Saxony Press Act applies to the area of the so-called print media (primarly newspapers and magazines). This includes, for example, the right to information and the due diligence of the press, the requirements for an imprint (Impressum), and the right to a regional representation.