Creative uses and cross – border copyright regulation

The Internet and digitisation simplify access to copyright protected works, and facilitate their distribution and (re-)use. However, these developments also pose fundamental questions of how to reconcile the often opposing interests and ideas for regulation in this domain. While the related Circulation of Cultural Goods project studies copyright empirically, this legal project focuses on copyright regulation for creative digital re-uses. The project specifically investigates German, European and U.S. copyright regulation for (film) remixes and mashups and their cross-border distribution.

To better understand the reasons for re-using preexisting material, the project takes insights from film and media studies as a starting point and identifies relevant exceptions to copyright. As remixes get distributed over the internet, most notably via UGC platforms, the project does not stop at analysing the relevant copyright exceptions. It further tries to identify factors that may affect the practical relevance of national copyright exceptions. For this purpose, the role of international intermediaries – e.g. providing an important infrastructure and enabling easier transactions between users and rightsholders – is investigated. The project further entails a comparative analysis of relevant private international law rules, as these may hint at a decreased importance of some countries’ national rules, and rules on provider liability, as these may necessitate content filtering obligations for intermediaries that may have an adverse effect on exceptions and limitations.


Laufzeit02/2017 – 06/2017
FördererThe greater part of this research was conducted for the »dwerft«-project, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research until February 2017.

Former employees

  • Henrike Maier, Dr.
    Former associated Researcher: Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Jana Leusing Jana Leusing
    Student Assistent: Global Constitutionalism and the Internet

Lectures and presentations

Film und Recht – urheberrechtliche Entwicklungen & automatisierte Rechteklärung
dwerft Abschlusskonferenz. Brandenburgische Landesvertretung, Berlin, Germany: 12.05.2017

Henrike Maier

Memes im Urheberrecht – Eine Bestandsaufnahme mit Blick auf deutsche und amerikanische Schranken
“One does not simply…” – Memes zwischen #Originalität und #Viralität, Interdisziplinärer Workshop (Session: Memes und Recht). Graduiertenkolleg “Innovationsgesellschaft heute” der TU Berlin in Kooperation mit der Gesellschaft für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung (GMM) sowie der HMKW Berlin. Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 16.03.2016

Henrike Maier

Urheberrecht und Technik am Beispiel von Hostingplattformen
Versprechungen des Rechts: Dritter Kongress der deutschsprachigen Rechtssoziologie-Vereinigungen (Session: Urheberrecht – Technologie – künstlerische Produktion). Law and Society Institute Berlin, and others. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 09.09.2015

Henrike Maier

Orphan Video Games and the EU Directive on Orphan Works
Save Game – Legal Challenges in Game Preservation. EFGAMP; Gesellschaft für Informatik, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 22.04.2015

Henrike Maier


Copies, Clones and Genre Building - Innovation and Imitation practices in the Games Industry
Quo Vadis 2015. Create. Game. Business.. International Games Week Berlin. Café Moskau, Berlin, Germany: 23.04.2015

Lies van Roessel, Henrike Maier, Christian Katzenbach

Organisation of events

Workshop-Reihe zu Urheberrecht und Musik
From 22.11.2017 to 30.09.2018. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) (International)

Henrike Maier