Vervielfältigungen gemeinfreier visueller Werke

Thursday, Jun 25, 2020

Article 14 of the DSM directive (“Works of visual art in the public domain”) is my favorite part of the directive. Not only because i carry a certain amount of responsibility for the very existence of this Article, but also because it pretty much undisputedly fixes something that was broken and restores a certain amount of order to the universe.

Unfortunately we had to wait until yesterday to see how Member States affected by the new provision would implement it. The new German implementation proposal is the first one that contains a provision in line based on Article 141:

§ 68 Vervielfältigungen gemeinfreier visueller Werke

Erlischt das Urheberrecht an einem visuellen Werk, so erlischt auch der Schutz von Vervielfältigungen dieses Werkes durch verwandte Schutzrechte nach den Teilen 2 und 3.

This is short and sweet and does the job. It also leaves no ambiguities with regards to the application in time: Staring on the 7th of June 2021 there will be no more rights in reproductions of works of visual art in Germany anymore.


  1. None of the other Member States that have published proposals so far (BE, FR, HR, HU and NL) allow for the protection of non-original reproductions via neighbouring rights, so none of them have a need to implement the article. ↩︎