Media law is the law relating to communications and information in all forms of media, from classic media (press, film and broadcasting including radio and television) to multimedia and the Internet, which are areas of enormous growth. In this truly cross-sectional discipline, our media law experts have integrated expertise in press law, broadcasting law, publishing law, in IT law, telecommunications law, data protection and youth welfare law as well as, for example, in the law governing criminal penalties and administrative offences in the realm of media.
Copyright overlaps in major areas with media law, particularly in terms of rights to media content (images, texts, music). Large areas of art law, in turn, form a part of copyright law, because the latter also governs the rights to and marketing of creative works of art, dance, architecture, music, photography, film, prose and poetry, etc.
In the range of legal services offered by BMT, media law has occupied a central role since the early 1980s, when our firm's lawyers played a leading role in setting up the private television networks in the Federal Republic of Germany. That specialisation continuously expanded later on, as new media developed (multimedia and internet). Our experts in the field of media law, copyright and art law are able to rely on many years of experience and expertise and in-depth practical experience, which is indispensable when advising clients in this area. At BMT, our clients benefit from innovative solutions tailored to their specific practical needs, whether in media law, art or copyright law.
Providing a full range of advice to assist clients in protecting and exploiting their creative achievements is one of BMT's specialties in this area. Our clients include, for example: Internet platforms, software providers, e-business portals, radio and television broadcasters, publishing houses, film producers and film collection societies, photographers, music producers and music collecting societies, architects, advertising agencies, fashion designers and PR agencies and many more individuals and companies working in the realm of the creative arts.
We structure and negotiate agreements pertaining to the grant and transfer of rights of use and exploitation, such as music agreements, multimedia agreements, publishing agreements, license agreements, employment agreements, co-operation and project agreements, R&D agreements, database and software agreements. The same also applies in the context of corporate constellations, such as joint venture companies or development associations.
We enforce our clients' copyrights both in court and extrajudicially: Thus, we issue cease-and-desist letters, procure interim injunctive relief in expedited judicial proceedings and pursue claims for accounting and damages on behalf of our clients. Conversely, we are exceedingly skilled at defending our clients from attack under copyright law, both in and out of court.
Art law is not an area of law in the strict sense. Most legal provisions that apply in cases relating to works of art are general provisions that were not especially made for the art world. However, in such matters the law cannot be sensibly applied without an understanding of the special characteristics and practices of the art world and the art market. At the same time, the handling of cultural assets is occasionally governed by special standards such as export restrictions stemming from Cultural Property Protection Acts. Also, in certain particular cases it is customary to take ethical principles into account, which may even superlay and displace the law.
From copyright matters to the creation of a foundation, from general terms and conditions for an auction house to (often international) lending transactions between museums or museums and collectors as well as the partly special treatment in art-related tax matters – Büsing Müffelmann & Theye provides advice for collections, foundations, museums, artist's estates and the international trade covering the entire spectrum of relevant legal norms in this field.