In 2013, Germany adopted a new neighbouring right over news content and in favour of press publishers (Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlege, LSR). The newly created sections 87f, 87g and 87h of the German Copyright Act provide for the exclusive right of press publishers to exploit their contents commercially for one year, thus preventing search engines and news aggregators from displaying excerpts from newspaper articles without paying a fee.
This article discusses the latest development in relation to the neighbouring right in favour of press publishers is today's decision of the Landgericht Berlin to make a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the context of litigation between the collecting society responsible to collect royalties in favour of publishers and Google, to receiving guidance on the actual enforceability of the German press publishers' right.
The coalition agreement of CDU/CSU and SPD, who could form the next German government, includes some considerations on how the IPR legislation should be developed in the EU. In particular, the agreement suggests an ancillary copyright for press publishers, as well as regulations to cover modern ways of IPR utilization. However, it remains unclear which forms exactly shall be tackled. In addition, a national strategy to strengthen Open Access shall be developed.