Copyright law and film recordings

Under Section 2 (1) (1) of the German Copyright Act (UrhG), works protected by copyright law include scientific works, and in particular spoken works such as for example speeches. An individual lecture therefore represents a “work” as defined by UrhG, and its creator is the lecturer.
In this case the consent of the copyright holder is required in order to publish a film. Permission is not needed if this is a lecture or presentation which is being recorded for tuition purposes.

Nevertheless care should be taken as film recordings are always affected by individual rights. Therefore a written declaration of consent should in principle always be obtained for recordings.

Moreover care should be taken that no third party sources are clearly recognisable in the film recordings, as the UrhG would again take effect. A recording is permitted either if there is a declaration of consent from the copyright holder or the extract is given in the form of the right of quotation.

The right of quotation enables the use of extracts which serve to elucidate and explain an issue. The quotations must be clearly identified as such by giving the sources.

Consideration should also be given to the platform on which the film is published, as this may only take place in an area to which only a specific group of people has potential access. Publication on a public platform on the Internet is only possible with a declaration of consent from the copyright holder.