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.

IT Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in Germany

IT judicial proceedings are usually characterized by the fact that the level of knowledge between the parties and the court is very different. As in a construction process, there are often points (individual defects) that are generally assessed by an expert.

In the context of IT litigation, if the legal proceeding regards difficult questions of deficiency, delay and related consequential questions, it is always expedient to collaborate with a qualified expert consultant. In view of the fact that the procedure is subject to the expert’s examination, an independent evidence procedure can also be used to establish a uniform basis of evidence as a basis for conciliation negotiations.

Independent Evidence Proceedings/Law Suit (rescission, compensation, reduction)

Instead of independent evidence proceedings, direct legal actions can also be taken, such as a rescission, a reduction procedure, a claim for damages and similar. Respectively. In doing so, the Court of First Instance is entitled to obtain an expert’s report even before an oral hearing. However, there is no legal obligation for this action.

IT-Arbitration Proceedings

IT legal disputes do not necessary need to be carried out before a regular court. By agreeing on a corresponding arbitration jurisdiction, these can often be concluded more quickly and professionally – with respect to the technical aspect of the matter -.

IT-Mediation Proceedings

Our Law Firm has achieved great practical results in IT-Mediation Proceedings; we are experts and we know how to avoid expensive in-court proceedings. Do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.

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.

eBay law

The most famous sales and trading modern platform eBay has left its initial legal uncertainties in the past; now all the questions and problems have been clarified by the court and the legal framework has been strengthened. This concerns e.g. questions regarding the liability of eBay itself, rights and duties of buyer and seller, delimitation consumer / entrepreneur or private dealer / commercial dealer and so on.

However, the following topics regard those important questions that have not been completely clarified yet.

  • Intellectual Property infringements and related warning proceedings
  • Product-related special provisions
  • Warranty and liability
  • Price offers (Shipping costs transparency, final price)
  • eBay-Feedbacks
  • VeRi-eBay´s program in Germany
  • Power traders
  • Immediate sale

Facebook law

The legal relationships of Facebook users (as well as in relation to third parties) are constantly changing as a result of new “provisions” (General Terms of Use of Facebook), special agreements, and new opportunities advertised or offered by Facebook, as well as amendments to the jurisprudence and legislation.

This sort of „flood“ of regulations is by no means a matter of data protection law, but presents a particular obstacle to the „usage right“ in legal sense.

It is really easy for an “unaware” user to breach the law, for instance, by infringing the rights of a protected digital data, a picture or a video.

We are familiar with Facebook policies and we know how to avoid a legal infringement, or –if necessary- we know how to react once the breaching has already taken place.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further questions or clarifications.

Apps under German law

APPs differ from standard software mainly through the distribution channel. The single APP developer has no immediate way to determine the conditions for the APP distribution itself.

Rather, it is subject to the sales conditions and license terms of the respective distribution platforms for iPhone Apps (iTunes-like by iDPLA, iPhone / iPad Developer Program License Agreement), Android Apps (Google) or Windows Apps. Apart from the US legal agreement, these regulations also provide for the compliance with the App developer; as this latter must ensure that it complies with all legal regulations related to its APP. The sales platform owner can grant numerous rights, partly within the framework of an EULA (End User License Agreement), which the end user must discuss and conclude with the app manufacturer in such a way that the sales platform owner can also assert all rights himself. In detail, the European Legal regulations are very wide, but, as far as can be seen, are not negotiable. We can legally examine and analyze your App and support its development as well as its distribution in the multi-platform environment. Our specialized and experienced team has been following the development of this relative legal framework since 2009; our experience and your ideas will drive us towards great results.

German IT Law

We are experts in the IT industry at all stages of its value chain. In addition, our lawyer, graduate engineer, Mr. Michael Horak, has been working for more than 25 years in the sector of IT law. Michael Horak, in fact, not only was an excellent law school student, but also studied electrical engineering with focus on information technology / telecommunications. But he is not the only expert in our team: our patent attorney, Mr. Andree Eckhard also comes from the technical field of IT law.

The entire area of Information Technology and Telecommunications, including message processing, software and hardware technologies and networks are at the basis of our law firm: online, offline, whether as ASIC or APP. National or International.

Information Technology, media law, internet law or online law are combined in a variety of legal areas (including domain law, IT-Law, telecommunications law, copyright law, computer law, media law, general civil law etc.). We are familiar with all those matters and topics regarding “the Net”. Our talented attorneys are specialized in German, European and international legal provisions, and are able to represent and assist you in all legal matters in these specific area of law: from the implementation of simple webs, up to complex IP projects and the creation of important contracts in the area of computer law, copyright law, or domain law and so much more, with Horak Attorneys at Law.

In summary, we know exactly the meaning of technical terms and branches of industry. Nonetheless, we are able to prepare complicated technical issues for the other legal bodies in order to assess the actual technical problems and to recognize them directly. We quickly and precisely understand what is important for you and we act accordingly, in order to achieve great results together. Our judicial competence is our strength and we will convince your partners or opponents in judicial or extra-judicial proceedings.

Which service do we offer in our IT-Law Firm in Germany?

The whole regulations regarding information technologies and telecommunications including the processing of messages, software and hardware technology as well as networks, are objects of specialization and interest for our team. This includes in particular:

  • Project and Company Support in all branch-specific legal questions regarding IT/ TC market;
  • Preparation and examination of contracts (in addition to special and general terms and conditions);
  • Licensing (software, hardware, deposit/escrow);
  • Contract enforcement ;
  • Claims defence;
  • Authorization and approval procedures;
  • Copyright and media law;
  • Protection of intellectual property rights and other safeguarding of corporate values.

Within the framework of the aforementioned overview, we cover the following area in the field of IT Law:

Internet/Online Law

  • Liability for online content;
  • Online-specific copyright;
  • Online expression of opinions, protection of personal rights;
  • Provider contracts, provider liability;
  • Warnings and their defence;
  • Creation of terms of use for websites;
  • Liability of Forum and platform operators;
  • File sharing, illegal downloading of music and movies;
  • Liability for hyperlinks, search engines;
  • Data protection, creation of the privacy statement (Datenschutzerklärung);
  • Domain disputes, domain laws;
  • Online Marketing;
  • Legal Support for internet service providers, web designers, media agencies, web shop operators and eBay shops;
  • Youth Protection on the internet;
  • E-Commerce and E-Business;

IT-Contract Law

  • Design and negotiation of IT-Contracts (Software production, outsourcing, adaptation, hardware procurement, support contracts, system contracts, licensing agreements, alternative license models, project contracts, sales contracts, employee and consultant revenues);
  • Transfer of software over the internet;
  • App-related contracts;
  • Privacy contracts,
  • Creation of GTC;
  • Provider contracts (access, hosting, housing, ASP etc.);
  • Software Escrow;
  • Service Level Agreements;
  • Warranty rights (software defects, hardware defects, and system or network errors).

Copyright and Media Law, trademark law, title protection law, competition law

  • Software;
  • Open Source Software;
  • Internet content in Websites, Web shops, eBay Shops;
  • Domains;
  • Files sharing, P2P, Downloads of music and movies;
  • Data Bank;
  • Advertising regulations.

International IT Law

  • International IT Project contract law;
  • International Software Law ;
  • International Copyrights Law;
  • Arbitration proceedings.

IT-Procurement Law

  • IT-Procurement;
  • Examination and creation of tendering documents;
  • Implementation of IT-Procurement Law proceedings for public clients;
  • Representation in IT-Procurement Law proceedings.

Websites’ legal examination:

  • Imprint;
  • Revocation Policy;
  • Data Protection;
  • Youth Protection;
  • Legitimacy of advertising from a competition point of view;
  • Price Quotation.

Media and press law:

  • Telecommunication Law;
  • Radio-/TV-Streaming;
  • Tones, music and image law;
  • Online- and Offline press law.

IT specific penal law:

  • Data protection law;
  • Theft of data;
  • Competition Law.

IT-Law Firm

Horak Attorneys at Law can provide support for the whole IT legal framework. In doing so, we strive for a lasting relationship with you, based entirely on the quality, trust and reliability of our services.

We advise small and medium-sized enterprises, corporations, institutions of the economy and public-law bodies of different sizes as well as individuals. And we offer even more!

Our firm profile is characterized by our lawyers. We are service providers. Professional competence, in-depth and continuous training, experience and specialization are the basis of our law firm.

Early legal advice allows you to legally secure you activities. Make sure to contact an expert.

Our attorneys are practicing the job of their dreams: perfect consultancy and high quality standards are combined with the personal care of our office.

We complement each other and we have one goal: your success.

Do you have plans or ideas and would like to have a reliable partner for its implementation? Please fill our enquiry form, or send us an e-mail describing your situation and your queries. We will contact you as soon as possible. Your attorney will be always there for you, will support you and advise you throughout the whole development of your case.

Representative Authority of our IT-Lawyers

Our lawyers are authorized to represent you before all courts (all administrative courts, land and upper courts, as well as all federal courts with the exception of the BGH in civilian matters). Of course, we also accompany our clients before the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of First Instance, the European Court of Justice, and many other national and international authorities and arbitrators.