Foto exhibition starts in Vienna

“Beautiful Japan” – this is how 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu dubbed his assassination attempt in Japan, with which he killed 19 people with disabilities. Years after this assassination, the name of the perpetrator is still known in Japan, but not that of the victims. In southern Japan, a cooperative has existed for years to address the contemptuous namelessness of people with disabilities in Japanese society. During my photo scholarship funded by the jPhoto exhibition in Vienna starts on 28.apanese government, I got to know and appreciate Muka (No Name), where people with disabilities paint, make music, design wooden objects, embroider, design computer designs – and are taken seriously as people with a name, their specific gifts and talents. This also resulted in a photo exhibition that was shown very successfully in various places in Japan – and is now on show in Europe for the first time. Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren is Director of the Institute for Media Law (ITM) at the University of Münster (Germany) and project photographer with exhibitions in Berlin, Frankfurt, Iceland and Japan, among others (

Podcast: Can platforms be offenders?

At the beginning of June 2022, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) decided, contrary to its previous case law, to what extent platforms such as YouTube can be liable for copyright infringements by their users. In the run-up to this decision, the BGH had submitted several questions on platform liability to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The current ruling implements the ECJ’s classification, which appeared in 2021. In this new episode, research assistants Nicolas John and Owen Mc Grath discuss the relevant decisions and shed light on the entire issue of interferer and perpetrator liability.

 The short notice referred to in the episode can be found in the DFN-Infobrief Recht 7/2022.

Dr. Nils Bortloff and Universal music

On 04.07.2022, Dr Nils Bortloff gave a lecture on the legal challenges in the music industry as part of the copyright lecture. He offered the students an insight into his work as Vice President Business & Legal Affairs at Universal Music Group (UMG).

First, Dr. Bortloff explained that the work of a label today goes far beyond the production of sound carriers. Rather, UMG is made up of many different departments that comprehensively take care of the marketing of the artists. Therefore, the work of the legal department is also very versatile. Dr. Bortloff then outlined the changes that the music industry has undergone within the past decades – often due to technical upheavals.

He then showed how the Universal Music Group is structured internationally and how legal distribution works in this network. He then outlined essential processes in the drafting of contracts between artists and UMG.

All in all, the lecture was able to give the students a very interesting insight behind the scenes of the industry.

We thank Dr. Bortloff for his visit!

Antoine and presentation on data economy and law

On 27 June 2022, Ms Lucie Antoine gave the already announced lecture on “Intellectual Property Rights and their Importance in the Data Economy” via Zoom. The former research assistant at the chair of Prof. Dr. Matthias Leistner, LL.M at LMU Munich and current trainee lawyer in the OLG district of Munich spoke both to some participants at Zoom and, as part of a hybrid format, to the participants of the lecture “Copyright”.

As a starting point, the lecture explained the framework conditions for creation and transfer, both in terms of incentives and the technical infrastructure (interoperability, APIs) as well as the legal infrastructure. The latter was then the subject of a more in-depth discussion.

It began with the legal classification of data and outlined the development of the legal handling of data from the creation of a separate intellectual property right to a focus on data access rights (e.g. Art. 20 GDPR, Art. 102 TFEU). However, possible intellectual property rights could also be cited against these.

According to Antoine, protection via intellectual property rights also poses various problems. In terms of copyright, protection as databases is a possibility, whereby a distinction must be made between database producer rights and database works, the latter being of secondary importance due to the requirements of the concept of work. However, database producer law also has uncertainties, especially in the case of machine-generated data, some of which are to be resolved by clarification through the planned Article 35 of the Data Act.

Patent law, on the other hand, does not play a major role in the data economy – at most, protection as a process product is conceivable.

However, the most practically relevant, because most flexible, protection is possible via the GeschGehG. Thanks to the broad relative concept of secrecy, this protection is also practicable for data transfers and can also provide reliable protection through its third-party effect. Currently, however, the problem is that in practice, the requirements for sufficient secrecy measures are almost unattainable.

As a result, the common practice of primarily using contract law to regulate rights to data is (still) the best solution to eliminate any uncertainties. However, new developments could shift the balance.

The lecture was followed by a question and answer session, which, among other things, dealt with further consequences of the Data Act.

We would like to thank Ms. Antoine for the exciting lecture on current problems in the field of intellectual property rights and the participants for their lively interest.


Successful participation of the “ITM Runners” in the Leonardo Campus Run 2022

The tradition continues: The research assistants and student assistants of the ITM have again successfully participated in the annual Leonardo-Campus-Run!  On 22.06.2022, the “ITM-Runners” took part in the 20th Leonardo-Campus-Run in beautiful weather and were cheered on by their fellow colleagues. The participants chose between the 5 km “After Work Run II” and the 10 km “ZfS-Münster-Run”. Afterwards, they enjoyed a drink together to celebrate their achievements.

We are already looking forward to next year!

Podcast: What do fonts have to do with data protection?

The jungle of legal requirements when building a website is now becoming even more dense for website operators: In a ruling dated 20 January 2022 ( Case 3 O 17493/20), the Regional Court of Munich I decided that the use of dynamic fonts without a corresponding legal basis from the GDPR can lead to a claim for damages by the data subject. Based on this ruling, research assistants Nicolas John and Justin Rennert discuss the data protection risks of integrating dynamic fonts into a website and provide an outlook on the consequences for users.

If you would like to take a closer look at the ruling and its consequences, you will find an article on this topic in DFN-Infobrief Recht 3/2022.

46. Legal Seminar of the Forschungsstelle Recht im DFN

On 13 and 14 June, the semi-annual general meeting of the DFN-Verein took place in Berlin. Research assistants Johanna Schaller and Nicolas John, representing the Forschungsstelle Recht im DFN, shed light on various legal issues during the following legal seminar. Nicolas John opened the legal seminar with his lecture on the new TTDSG and the omnipresent cookie banners on websites. He explored the question of whether the new regulations of the TTDSG will soon make cookie banners obsolete and whether the TTDSG can also cope with new tracking technologies. Johanna Schaller then first presented the new norms of civil law on digital content and how these can affect universities. Then, in another topic, she explained the functionality and basic legal principles of electronic signatures and discussed which signature is suitable for which applications. The discussions with the audience that accompanied the presentations showed that digitisation at universities and research institutions still raises many questions. The Forschungsstelle Recht would like to thank the participants for their lively interest and the enriching exchange.


The good spirit leaves – the bakery of H1

For decades, students and professors have bought cereal bars, sandwiches and cappuccinos from her: Annette Söltenfuß and her husband Josef kept them all well supplied, the lawyers, economists, Germanists and philosophers around the H1. Their little bakery on H1 was an important meeting place for the whole university five days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Klöneck, literature meeting place, quiet zone – but not for much longer: in July, her husband and she will retire and mainly take care of their grandchild. During the transition period, she will still help out the new owner. But she is also looking forward to newfound leisure – but: she will sorely miss the ITM.