Performers have a so-called “ancillary copyright” when they perform, play or otherwise present a copyright work. This is regulated by law in §§ 73 ff. UrhG. In music, the performance can be either live on stage or in the studio.
1.) Right of acknowledgment
According to Section 74 (1) UrhG, the performing artist has the right to be recognised as such in connection with his performance. He can determine whether and by which name he is mentioned. In practice, this right to be named is based on customary practice in the industry.
2.) Exploitation rights of the performing artist
According to Section 77 UrhG, the performing artist has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the image or sound carrier with his or her performance. Under Section 78 UrhG, the performer also has the right to make his performance available to the public or to broadcast it. According to Section 79 UrhG, he or she may transfer these rights to third parties and thus grant a right of use.
3.) Statutory claim to remuneration
Section 79a UrhG was newly inserted into the Copyright Act. According to this section, the performing artist has a statutory claim to remuneration amounting to 20% of the revenue which the record company receives from the exploitation of his or her recordings. However, according to Section 79a (2) UrhG, this claim only exists after the 50th year following the release of the phonogram or the first public performance. This provision therefore only applies to so-called “old cases” which are affected by the extension of the exploitation rights under Section 82 UrhG. The legislator has extended the term of protection for performances by performers on a phonogram from 50 to 70 years (so-called “Lex Beatles”).