|Jack Sparrow: having|
an Orff day ...?
By way of background: §32a UrhG provides for so-called “fairness compensation” in cases where there is a disproportion between the fee paid and the success of the work or creation. Bearing in mind the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise at the German box office, as well as its related DVD releases and the TV licensing of the films, Mr Orff was of the view that his fee of roughly 18,000 Euros was not a fair consideration for his contribution: as the German voice of the lead actor he had made a decisive contribution and should therefore be paid a supplemental fee of 180,000 Euros. Even though §32a UrhG expressly refers to 'authors' it is also applicable to performers, see §79(2)(2) UrhG. Under German copyright law, performers (such as actors and dubbing actors) can be considered as authors provided that their creative contribution to a work amounts to an intellectual creation in its own right. In this case, however, the only question to be decided was whether the compensation received by Mr Orff was adequate.
|A great cinema? Somewhere you can|
comfortably view "Pirates of the Caribbean"
|Forget the cash,|
just give me
Referring to its earlier case law in relation to the old version of §36 UrhG, the court made it clear that §32a UrhG may indeed be applicable to the work of dubbing actors who lend their voice to main characters of a film, provided their contribution was not merely "marginal". The BGH expressly disagreed with the lower court and found that Jack Sparrow's part and his appearance was more than just of marginal importance.
The court thus clarified that a dubbing actor may be regarded as a "co-author" of a work. In its decision the BGH also provides quite detailed guidance as to when one may assume a disproportion in the sense of §32a UrhG and confirms that financial gains based on distribution of the (dubbed) film abroad can be relevant if the parties have agreed on German law as governing law. The case will now be remitted to the Kammergericht.