Bootleg albums are really illegal by now

Warning about bootleg

Again and again, providers on the Internet are warned about selling so-called bootlegs. The violation often results in considerable costs. In our article we explain what it is about and what options you have if you have been warned for a violation.

What are bootlegs?

The bootlegs are basically unauthorized recordings of copyrighted works designated. Often times, a bootleg is an unauthorized one Concert recording. However, there are also bootlegs from Studio recordings. Bootlegs are mostly Not easy Pirated copiesas the content on official records the originator mostly did not show up are.

The Presentation and quality of records and CDs varies at bootlegs considerably. While it is partly about Recordings from the audience and the music can only be seen in the background, there is also highly professional bootlegsthat were picked up directly on the mixer at the concert. It is precisely these high-quality sound carriers that have it with appropriate packaging already in the official commercial retail trade made.

This explains why it's for the Consumer not necessarily recognizable is if he an official CD or record or an unofficial one Bootleg owns.

How bootlegs are handled has changed over time. Attempts have been made in the past to stop the business with unofficial releases. Often, however, this was done with an official publication, so Frank Zappa published content under the title "Beat the Boots" that had previously been distributed as a bootleg. At the same time, bands were proud when a bootleg from their concerts was in circulation. Nowadays musicians approach bootleg differently. Some groups allow the free download, bootlegs or recordings that are known to you. This is to prevent someone from spending money on a bootleg. Other Performers protect their music with legal support and admonish providersof bootlegsfor violating their copyrights by lawyer or law firm from. This affects both business providers and consumers who only want to sell parts of their record collection. The unbroken will to close is recognizable preventthat someone else is making money illegally from the musicby selling phonograms.

Why are bootlegs illegal?

The copyright allows an artist to use the work he has created, as intellectual property, To defend. In principle, the bands have the right to do so decide whether and under what conditions their works are made available to the public become. In principle, you can decide who sells the recordings as a sound carrier and earns money with it.

If the artist created the work himself, this right follows from Section 17 (1) of the Copyright Act (UrhG). However, the interpreter who only performs a piece can also according to § 77 UrhG prevent video or audio recordings of the performance from being disseminated. Finally, the author may also decide whether he would like to publish the work, see Section 12 (1) UrhG. This regulation is particularly relevant for the publication of studio sessions. These far-reaching rights are affected by a bootleg.

So if a Concert recording is to be spread, then basically that Consent of the entitled person required. Only then is a permitted distribution possible. If consent has not been given, the rights holder can defend his copyright for the violation with various claims. According to § 97 UrhG stands by the author Omission- and in the case of culpable violations, a Claim for damages to. To Section 98 UrhG can he demand that the illegal phonograms to the injured issued or destroyed become. Under certain circumstances you can Copyright infringement is a criminal offense according to Section 106 UrhG represent and with up to three years imprisonment However, copyright infringement is rarely reported to and prosecuted by the public prosecutor. Private law enforcement by lawyers, i.e. the pursuit of the violation with warnings, is more widespread.

However, copyright is not unlimited. In certain cases to grab Exceptionsthat allow a certain behavior. The pure perception of a work cannot be prevented by copyright. who So already Bootleg CDs owns, may these too Fartherlisten.

Bootlegs or bootleg recordings are allowed however not yoursas this is a copyrighted act of use that is illegal if the rights holder has not allowed it.

What do Genesis, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Mötley Crue or Böhse Onkelz have in common?

Right, all these bands and artists have assigned their copyrights to collecting societies, which then send warnings through law firms such as "Sasse und Partner", Gutsch & Schlegel or "Zimmermann und Decker".

These unauthorized sound recordings and recordings, often from live concerts (so-called bootlegs) that are traded on eBay and Amazon, continue to be rigorously pursued.

My team and I have represented numerous victims over the past few years and we are always at your disposal with our expertise.Take advantage of our non-binding and free initial consultation.

Christian Solmecke, lawyer and partner at WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE

Immediate help from the lawyer

Do you need legal advice? Call us for a free initial assessment or use our contact form.

Contact us now or 0221/951 563 0

Why am I allowed to resell normal CDs, but not bootlegs?

Unlike normal CDs, the so-called. Exhaustion principle not at bootleg. According to this principle, the author should only be remunerated once for a copy of his work. Only one contribution should be made per sound carrier and the records should then be released for commercial use. This concept is based on the idea that a second-hand market for records or books should be legally permissible. So anyone who owns old records can easily sell them used. However is requirement for an exhaustion that the Musician at the original launchinvolved was. And this requirement is not met with a bootleg, because a Bootleg becomes without authorization and without payment published by the rights holder. Therefore, every sale of a bootleg must be prosecuted for infringement of copyright.

What does the warning say?

The warning is an effective means of enforcing injunctive relief. As shown above, the bands are allowed to demand that no bootlegs be distributed. The recipient of the warning becomes the Failure to violate copyrights asked.

The Warnings will mostly from specialized law firms sent, such as the Hamburg law firm Rasch Rechtsanwälte who en masse  Warnings pronounce. The lawyers usually represent record labels that claim the rights to the music pieces concerned.

With the warning, the first and foremost claim for injunctive relief is sought. It is about eliminating the violation. Therefore, with the warning, the Submission of a declaration of cease and desist with penalties demands. In this, the admonished person undertakes, for example, no bootleg recordingsto offer more and for everyonerenewed violation a contractual penalty to pay. This contractual penalty is to be calculated in such a way that the omission of the activities or the repetition of the violation is guaranteed. The warning person is entitled to demand a sum of money for each new case of infringement of the copyrights of the injured party.

In addition, the lawyer is usually required to pay the warning costs of the commissioned law firm. This Replacement ofWarning costs is via the so-called. management without order justified. The argument is that the addressees of the warnings by the lawyers are given the chance to return to lawful behavior as cheaply as possible and without expensive court proceedings by eliminating the violation. The warning is therefore the slightest evil to eliminate the consequences of the violation and represents a concession by the lawyers of the injured party.

In copyright law, at least one culpable, that is willful or negligent, Copyright Infringement Compensation be invoked. This is done by means of the so-called. triple damage calculation. After that, the person entitled can decide whether to receive a fictitious license fee, the Infringer profitor the indeed due to the violation damage incurred want to get replaced. In the case of the warning, a certain license fee or an acknowledgment of debt may be requested, the amount of which will be determined at a later point in time. It may also be that the warning only requires information about the business activities of the bootleg provider so that the warning person can find out which damage calculation is the most lucrative. The perpetrators of the violation must comply with this request for information.

What can I do?

Anyone who has received a warning about a bootleg should take it seriously, but don't panic. Many who find a warning in their mail are very unsettled in view of the high amounts in dispute and claims.However, you shouldn't let yourself be chased in the lead, but rather assess the situation calmly and with the appropriate professional support from a law firm.

Not at all you should the Just ignore the warning and hope that the effort of a further pursuit of the claims is too expensive for the warning person. Because if a claim actually exists, the warning is actually justified and can also be pursued in court, usually at significantly higher costs. The recipient of the warning does not necessarily have to be aware of this immediately if, for example, an injunction is requested.

On the other hand, in principle, too Not are advised to do so penalizedDeclaration of omission simple to signand the requested amount simply to pay. Because the law firm or lawyer issuing the warning will usually not require a particularly favorable declaration of commitment with the warning. Rather, it will try to cover the broadest possible area. A cease and desist declaration can therefore usually be amended if it is to be submitted. With this modification is achieved that the infringer only committed to things, the necessary are, to eliminate the risk of repetition. This modification should be done by a lawyer, as there is a risk that the declaration of commitment does not go far enough and does not satisfy the injunction. The lawyer or law firm that sent the warning can then take legal action, which usually results in higher costs.

In some cases, the warning as such can also be for that reason ineffective be if the Submission of a criminal obligation to cease and desistdemands will the abovetheThe scope of the violation and this is not specified. A lawyer should also be consulted to check these criteria. In particular, the lawyer must clarify exactly why the warning was sent.

The Warning costs, i.e. the costs that the lawyer or his law firm charges for the warning must be reimbursed by the warning recipient. The amount of these costs results from the Lawyers' Remuneration Act (RVG) and is based on the Item or value in dispute. The RVG basically applies to all lawyers in Germany. The amount in dispute corresponds to that economic interest of the right holder on the declaration of commitment. This interest can be estimated at several thousand euros, with the consequence that the Costs for the lawyer due to the warning are not insignificant are.

However, can according to § 97a Abs. 3 UrhG the amount in dispute is capped be. This is the case if a natural person does not commit the copyright infringement in a business or commercial area and it is not a repeated infringement. It is therefore often argued whether a provider of bootlegs does this commercially or as a purely private person. If the criteriaFulfills can be the replacement of Legal fees only out one Item value of 1000 euros are required.

Also the damagesdemanded because of the violation may be set too high. Here there is usually some room for negotiation that can be used to reduce the total costs of the warning. Besides, this one is Claim to fault bound so that the person who demonstrably did not know that it was an illegal bootleg, for example because someone offers his parents' record collection or the CDs were purchased in normal retail stores, and because of this ignorance no negligence is justified no compensation have to pay.

As can be seen from this post, the one who commits Bootlegs offers and sells to traffic, usually copyright infringementwhich can be prosecuted and prevented by the authorized owners or by contracted lawyers with the warning of the violation. The copyright warning, as well as a possible subsequent contractual penalty, can be very expensive and should therefore be taken seriously. However, a lawyer can help that To limit and minimize the impact of the warning. A lawyer can review the asserted claims and in extrajudicial or judicial proceedings that burden for the infringer to what is necessary to reduce. We hope that our law firm can contribute to your legal advice.

We can help you

Have you received a bootleg warning and are unsure how to govern? Our experienced team of lawyers will help you to clarify the legal situation and to end the legal dispute quickly, safely and inexpensively.

We will be happy to clarify all essential questions with you in our non-binding and free initial consultation.

The team of experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Call us at 0221/951 563 0 (advice nationwide) at.