Circumventing Copy Protection

A recent judgment of the BGH (July 17, 2008, re I ZR 219/05) brings some clarity to when you can legally circumvent copy protection of CD-ROMS and protected music files. The court answered the question whether persons might legally sell programs that circumvent copyright protection.


The defendants are hobby programmers. The plaintiffs sell CDs with implemented technological protection measures against copying their discs and / or music. The defendants offered a program on eBay, which can duplicate copy-protected CDs. The defendants were first admonished by this music company. The defendants were ordered to forbear future selling and pay for the damages to the admonishing company. Since they refused, legal recourse was sought and found.

The First Civil Division of the Federal Court of Justice decided that not only professionals but also private persons, i.e. individuals not acting pursuant to any profession, may not sell and / or advertise programs circumventing copyright protection. The court clearly stated that such programs working around §95a III UrhG are illegal because they violate copyright law. Therefore, programs to circumvent the copy protection of sound are not allowed to be promoted or distributed.



Published on the old CMS: 2008/9/28
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,570 reads

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