Games law in Germany

Due to the creativity of gaming-participants, Online Law brings constantly new legal challenges up, which we are more than ready to solve with our specialist attorneys.

The current legal questions around gaming show the rapid development in all aspects of Games Law. Of course, the classic console games still exists, but the trend towards online games or mobile gaming is largely growing and leads to different legal issues that just a couple of years ago were not to contemplate.

At first glance, it does not matter who is responsible for the game and who is the developer: from the start up, to non-professional software developers or software developing studios, up to big production companies or game publishers, the legally solvable tasks are vary and often very different from each other.

Our qualified attorneys for copyright and media law and intellectual property rights know these topics really well. Whether image or film law, producer or development contracts, media support and other financing, we are here to accompany you through the whole path to your success, both nationally and internationally.

Developers, publishers and all other service providers in the market of the games are dependent on the fact that they work together with experienced lawyers with in-depth legal knowledge in media law, IT law, Internet law, data protection law and, of course, intellectual and industrial legal protection.

Our attorneys for copyright and media law are therefore also specialists for intellectual property rights. We advise and represent nationally and internationally in Games Law issues, both for young and established companies and individuals.

We offer support in all of the legal and labor-related matters regarding Game Law, we offer solutions for contracts of all kinds, whether software development contracts, license agreement, GTC, sales contracts, data protection clauses, general legal indications etc.

 

  • Games in general (no matter which Platform/ Environment)
  • Browser games (Online-Browser-Games/ Offline-Browser-Games)
  • Mobile Games (App-Games/ Mobile games/ Tablet games/general platform games)
  • Online-Gaming general
  • Client Games
  • Apps
  • Legal support for the creation of a business (partnership agreements, AGB, Financing/promotion)
  • Legal formulation of al gaming contracts (such as work contracts, freelances contracts, NDA, bans on competition, software development contract, licence contract, distribution agreement contracts, testimonial contracts, Publishing contracts, QA-contract, cooperation agreement, advertising contract, Production contract, Film contract, Foot contract, copyright and utilization agreements)
  • Legal detection of commercial property law and their related allocation, enforcement and defence of industrial property rights
  • Legal matters of virtual currency and virtual objects
  • Trading legal issues with market and digital content of all kinds (image law, film law, data bank law, pre-release)
  • Particular copyright and media legal matter regarding online games and mobile games
  • Question of  age categorization USK o rage categorization´s system in online games and mobile games
  • International Payments legal issues
  • Legal consultation and representation in the creation and supervision of online games-platforms etc.

IT Outsourcing under German law

IT outsourcing transactions must be legally supported. Depending on the content of the specific project, local, national and international IT outsourcing can be involved in advising on the general IT law, data protection law, professional law, antitrust law, intellectual property rights and intellectual property rights. Our IT outsourcing practice includes the outsourcing of simple or complex databases, data centers, client / server hardware, TK to the entire IT structure of a company. We provide comprehensive consulting services for the outsourcing of information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO). We also advise on the outsourcing of IT business processes, system integration agreements, cooperations, etc. This covers the commercial protection, distribution and use of various IT products and IT services.

In the following areas, we offer our clients our special expertise in IT outsourcing / IT law:

  • IT Outsourcing
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Performance Specification (IT-Project contracts)
  • Service Level Agreements
  • IT-Project and System-Integration contracts
  • Domain Name Dispute Resolution
  • Internet Agreements (Website-/Shop-/Usage contracts)
  • VAR-, ISV-, OEM Contracts
  • Hard- and Software Maintenances
  • IT-License Contracts
  • IT-Distribution Agreements
  • Backbone agreements
  • Network-/Technical Contracts
  • RFI, RFP, Term Sheets und Indicative Offers.
  • Escrow-Contracts

Warranty of IT in Germany

Depending on the contractual element, the agreement may be subject to commercial, contractual, or leasing/atypical characteristics.

The warranty in purchase law begins with the question of whether a (material or legal) defect exists. Deficiency here, means a sort of deviation of the desired services from the actual characteristics. Particular quality characteristics have been agreed at the moment of the purchase. If a function which has been agreed upon is missing, there is a functional error / lack of function. As a rule, this error is delimited by an operating error. Another typical deficiency is the lack of bandwidth, i.e. a deviation of the agreed speed from the actual typically due to missing bandwidth. In this respect, many other causes are also possible. One of the most common errors is the lack of/missing documentation. Not respected promises are also a considered a frequent defect, whereby the advertised characteristics of a particular product are sometimes blurred. In the hardware / telecommunication sector, building defects (such as, for example, fans too loud / connection errors) are also really common.

Even if a deficiency exists, the legal situation is not always and directly clear; (E.g. supplementary performance, rescission, reduction, reimbursement of expenses, and compensation for damages, up to insolvency law cases).

In IT-cases, a (private or judicial) expert’s report is often necessary. We are familiar with IT-Law and we collaborate with qualified experts on a regular basis. For example, long-term disputes can often be avoided by means of short-term evaluations.

Please contact us for any further questions regarding this topic. You can count on our expertise

German IT compliance law

Compliance in itself means only that the applicable legal rules and recognized social values and standards adhere to the framework of all business activities. Already in the light of the existing density of regulations for enterprises and entrepreneurs, cross-border activities, the increasing regulation and, in particular, the special liability for the management bodies, every company has to operate a compliance management today.

In particular, the risk affected areas have to be identified in each “business segment”, and also the measures for reducing and/or avoidance of liability in favor of the management body (in particular the managing director, the executive board, the supervisory board) has to be implemented. The IT-area of a company is often one of the most “risky” areas; IT-companies themselves are active in a particularly risk oriented industry. IT-Outsourcing, cloud computing, mobile services lead to even more strengthened IT-compliance requirements

Our team of experts and our corporate practice are not only active as consultants, but we also support you in the implementation of compliance management. After the identification of the risks, we create the individual legal measures of a compliance management system individually, for your specific company and we could also integrate a whistleblowing hotline, for instance, if necessary. We can also carry out a certification according to the IDW PS 980 Standards. A training session based on the specific compliance management system for the employees definitely complement the legal advice, in order to make the implementation working smoothly and correctly.

The organizational structure of the organization is supplemented by protection levels in the decision making process and in the entire supervisory organization. Pursuant to Section § 93 (2) of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG), the management bodies of a stock corporation are personally liable for the violation of their organizational and supervisory obligations. The members of the management bodies are obliged with regards to their fulfilment. In correlation with the sector and the size of the company, as well as its national or international orientation, the liability risks increase both for the company and, in particular, for the management bodies.

The legal areas relevant to the individual case of compliance risk identification include, in particular, the following:

  • Corporate Law
  • Banking Law
  • Antitrust Law
  • Product liability law
  • Insolvency Law
  • Data protection law
  • Environmental Law
  • Employment Law
  • More topics regarding the „Compliance „of a company or about our legal consultations are as follows:
  • Compliance Management
  • Compliance Officer
  • Compliance Regulation
  • Compliance Law
  • Compliance-Regulation Infringement
  • Introduction of Compliance-Regulation
  • Optimization of Compliance Management
  • Compliance for Executives.

German internet law

Information technologies and the Internet have enormous potential for administrations, businesses and industries, as well as for consumers; in order to do so, however, it is fundamental that internet regulations are respected. At the same time, the new technical possibilities also lead to related dangers. In Internet Law, problems can start with simple mistakes, like the assumption of a private business, which is actually a commercial business.

General internet law and online law

The number of companies present on the Internet is still growing. Through this medium, consumers and business partners can be reached faster and more quickly. The economic sphere of influence of a company also expands when it decides to use the internet for advertising and distribution. In the case of an online presentation, however, the provider has to inform his customers comprehensively: in accordance with the current legislation, the entrepreneur is obliged by law to publish an extensive Imprint and several provisions.

German media law

Those are not special regulations (as the Telemedia Act –TMG), but practical applicable internet laws. Also those who want to advertise on the Internet must pay attention to specific legal requirements, some of which derive from some online peculiarities. Thanks to the internet platform, sellers and traders can reach all sectors. However, some users and vendors are still reluctant, as they are not sure about their own rights and position in an online business.

Internet contract law

Contracts or agreements concluded on the internet are really common; however, once the agreement is concluded, questions as the followings are almost typical:

  • Which laws are applicable?
  • How is it possible to conclude a contract via internet?
  • Is the presentation of goods on a Homepage already a binding offer?
  • How can general business conditions be effectively incorporated into a contract?

Competition law

In addition, trading online increases the risk of warning: competitors, consumer protection agencies and similar institutions can easily identify typical internet law uncertainties and assert legal violations. However, these typical legal online problems can also be easily avoided. Here are some important facts to take into account if you want to enter  the online trademarks world:

  • Never infringe third parties protective rights (do not copy anything, create everything by yourself, do not accept texts, pictures, logos or other data from third parties without a previous legal examination)
  • Observe all the legal requirements (Imprint)
  • Do not use unauthorized and non-examined Terms and Conditions or Revocation Instructions
  • Control the protection of data, general information requirements, as well as competition law requirements.

“Internet Law”, “Online Law”, “Computer Law” or “IT Law” are not original legal areas and often we refer to them without any actual focus in “Internet Law”. Instead, it is really often to go toward a matter of competition law (for example, the suspension of an Amazon offer), trademark law (e.g. selling of plagiarisms as alleged branded products), purchase right (in case of deficiencies in the delivery of an eBay, Amazon or a general Internet Shop products), penal law (counterfeiting/non-delivery of a purchased product), or right to free speech (eBay, Amazon, Google, general Web-shop feedbacks).

Also the drafting of contracts and the examination of the GTC are by no means regulated by particular laws, but most frequently are connected to civil law.