After a year-long dispute, the screenwriter Anika Decker was proven right: she is entitled to a higher share of the total income from Til Schweiger’s cinema hits “Keinohrhasen” and “Zweiohrküken”. This was decided by the Berlin Regional Court.
The author has thus achieved success with her lawsuit against the production company and rights holder Barefoot Films and the media group Warner Bros. – but she has little benefit from it financially. According to the ruling, the majority of their claims are time-barred. The presiding judge Rolf Danckwerts’ tip was: “She should have filed a lawsuit much earlier because she knew that the films were so successful in the cinema.”
The ruling is based on the “fairness paragraph” in copyright law. It provides for additional payment if the originally agreed remuneration and the income subsequently achieved are noticeably disproportionate. From the court’s point of view, that is the case in this case. “Keinohrhasen” was the most successful German film in cinemas in 2008. “Zweiohrchicken” also later attracted millions of visitors.
The judgment is not final. Those involved can appeal against this. The German Screenplay Association initially reacted cautiously to the decision. “The situation of creative people is not such that we can immediately estimate success,” said managing director Jan Herchenröder. It is unfortunate that Decker, as the plaintiff, has to pay the entire court costs according to the judgment.