Advertising law – a classic interdisciplinary issue. It covers everything advertisers are faced with in their day-to-day practice, from copyright law to (unfair) competition law, media law to many advertising bans and restrictions (such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, etc.). Our practical approach can be seen in our many years of cooperation with the Werbeakademie (WIFI). Thomas Höhne has been a member of the Board of Experts of Österreichische Marketinggesellschaft for years.
Art does not only hang on our walls – our law firm has been working with art in all of its form since its beginnings. This involves several fields of law – copyright, licence, and labour law; issues concerning the marketing, exploitation, publication, exhibition of art and works of art; transport, events, purchases, sales and auctions of works of art – and sometimes even imitations or even fakes. Our customers come from different sectors, such as event organizers, theatres, opera and concert halls, exhibitors, gallery owners, art dealers, museums, publishers, creative individuals or buyers and consumers.
See also copyright law.
“Copyright” is being discussed more than ever. But it does not necessarily mean that everyone know what it means when someone is protected by “copyright”. And this is how it starts: it is not uncommon for arguments about who granted what rights for what purposes and what geographic area for what period and against what fee to end up in disputes. And the many manifestations of media on the internet have not made this problem any easier. We offer advice on all issues relating to copyright, from literature to film, music to architecture, painting to photography, whether you are an author, licence holder, exploiter or a simple consumer.
We have created our own website for a special field of copyright law; the rights of architects and planers: www.architekturheber.at.
“Purchases on the Internet are booming as never before”, wrote “Die Zeit” in February 2017, and the Chinese site Alibaba generates more sales than Amazon and Ebay put together. We must admit that Alibaba is not our client. And we have to outsource our Chinese translations. But apart from that, entrepreneurs who sell goods or services online will find here everything they need – from legal statements compatible with the Austrian E-Commerce Act to durable privacy statements and working GTCs.
See also Internet.
Ventriloquism can be learned and is not an art, just like magic. Supreme Administrative Court, 12.12.1988, 87/15/0002. This statement already describes two areas of entertainment law. But naturally, our advisory activity goes beyond that: Sports and music, film and television, everything that has to do with creating and exploiting works in the entertainment sector – and this does not only include contracts, but also labour law issues, personal rights, copyright claims, non-disclosure agreements and all aspects of event law.
In Oxford, amateur actors had planned to perform the Passion of Christ on Good Friday – a Passion Play. The authorities refused to grant the authorisation. Officials were afraid that it was a live sex show. Which is not exactly what we see everyday when advising event companies and operators – but even that would be no problem to us. Event law does not only involve great acts, but also traffic safety, neighbouring rights, event registrations and licence applications – all public and legal prerequisites that are relevant when holding events. Sometimes, we have to fight with authorities.
And if issues of liability or compensation for damage or problems with the authorities arise, we are at your side.
We have been offering advice to the Austrian film industry for years on all matters of film law: From material development, making sure the script is devoid of any legal pitfalls, to film funding as well as national and international co-productions up to its evaluation by film distributors. Our clients not only include film producers – our advice is also valued by screenwriters, outfitters, actors, composers, cutters and whoever else is involved in the making of a film.
See also Copyright law.
As is well known, death is part of life and often comes with some potential for conflict. In order to prevent these conflicts during your lifetime, we advise you on the planning of your succession and support you in drawing up the necessary documents such as a will, a contract of gift on death and a waiver of inheritance and compulsory portion.
In case of need, we support you in the entire probate process. If there is no agreement between the heirs, this also includes the judicial enforcement of disputed inheritance and compulsory portion claims.
Do you know how many Twitter messages were published during the Football World Cup in Germany (2006)? Not a single one! Twitter wasn’t launched until a week after the World Cup. By the way, no one could follow the World Cup on their iPhone either – it was only introduced one year later. This is how fast the world of IT changes. Luckily for our clients (and us), we keep up with these changes. Companies in the IT sector are also constantly faced with such challenges. Our experienced lawyers can address all of our clients’ IT questions, and, as some of us are also technically versed, we are able to find long-lasting solutions together with technicians.
See also Media.
We tell you whether and how you are allowed to process data and what legal framework conditions you must meet – such as for example create a procedure directory and impact assessments. This allows us to safeguard the enormous value of properly collected data and prevent you from facing penalties which can amount to up to 20 million Euro or 4% of your worldwide annual sales.
Since we are faced with more and more violations of privacy by electronic means – from internet media to data-collecting drones – data protection law has become the most important lever for protecting privacy. As we have been working in the media sphere for a long time, it was only logical that we also address the topic of privacy in data protection law.
All areas of law relevant for printed media, broadcasting and other electronic media are of particular importance to us. It is important to follow these still quite young areas internationally and to combine practice and scientific theory. We were involved in the creation of the Information and Media Law university course and still have a hand in its management; members of our firm teach at several universities and technical colleges and have also published many works. The law firm is also a supporting member of the scientific interest group for information law IT-LAW.AT.
See also Privacy rights.
The field of Privacy rights is very wide: Naming rights, right to one’s own image, right to honour – and these rights are protected by the Austrian Civil Code, Copyright Act, Media Act and Criminal Code. Many paragraphs that dedicated to something that cannot be seen or touched – but it can be attacked, which can lead to the destruction of livelihoods. Still, these many paragraphs provide us – and you – with several weapons that, if wielded by an experienced lawyer, can nip such attacks in the bud.
See also Media.
“The mind of Austrians has been fogged by music for centuries.” (Thomas Bernhard) That may be true. But when it comes to examining or drafting publishing agreements, whether it concerns music or literature, we turn down the music, the fog lifts and we get a clear view of the rights and obligations of authors, composers and their publishers. And if we look closely, it gets really interesting: Publishing a book is one thing, but what about the rights for public transmission, audio and video recordings, making the work available on the Internet, and filming, sending or translating it? When are the rights returned to the author? Can the author compete with his own work? Who provides footage and is liable for ensuring that it can even be used? So many questions – and publishing law must answer them all.
See also Copyright law.
It is said that a trade mark is a promise. A promise that is kept each time a consumer buys goods or makes use of a service bearing the trade mark. Trade marks, names, designs and similar immaterial intellectual property rights have become more important than ever. And it has become more important than ever to be knowledgeable in this area. Word mark, figurative mark or word and figurative mark? Industrial design or utility model? What is protected where (Austria, Europe, the entire world?) and how in the best possible way? The protection of a trade mark or design costs money. We make sure that you use your money optimally and find the right protection for your goods and services.
Our website www.markenregistrierung.at offers support and basic information on trade mark law issues.
See also (Unfair) competition law.
“Competition law” is a dazzling term – on the one hand, it stands for the law governing restrictions of competition, aka antitrust laws, and on the other hand for fair trading law which mostly addresses unfair competition. Rules for fair competition are varied, and conflict sometimes arises with these rules. If you are the one in conflict with them, we will help you get out of that conflict; if a competitor is not following the rules, then we know how to lead him or her back to the path of virtue – and we might be able to get you some compensation for your damage.