United States of America
Copyright and Related Rights
2. Does Germany apply the "rule of the shorter term" to phonograms and performances from other WTO Members? If so, please explain how you justify such action under TRIPS Article 4.
As we may not have correctly understood what is precisely meant by the rule of the shorter term in respect of phonograms and performances, the following explanation endeavours to exhaustively cover the duration of protection under German law for phonogram producers and performing artists from WTO Members. As has been stated above (answer to question 1, I. b) and c)), section 125, paragraph 5 and section 122, paragraph 3 grant to foreign performing artists and phonogram producers protection to the extent provided in international agreements. In this manner, the provision of TRIPS Article 14, paragraph 5, first sentence, is materially implemented in German law. The 50 year term of protection defined therein is applicable to rightholders from WTO Members. By the joint operation of the afore-mentioned provisions, section 125, paragraph 7 and section 126, paragraph 2, second sentence, are overruled. Otherwise the latter provisions would indeed provide for shorter terms on the basis of a comparison of terms of protection.