Strategic advisory and dispute resolution for copyright and database rights

Our team of specialist lawyers has vast experience in handling copyright and database rights issues across a range of creative industries. In an ever-evolving world, you need lawyers who work hard to stay at the forefront of developments to help you meet your commercial objectives. Our in-depth market knowledge, forward-thinking approach and creative solutions set us apart in this complex field.

"Osborne Clarke handles complex and sophisticated matters in a highly effective manner, distilling the issues into straightforward advice that makes decision-making easy."

Intellectual Property Client, Chambers and Partners


As copyright is an automatic but unregistered right, protection and enforcement can be a particularly complicated area of intellectual property law.

We have an enduring focus on digital copyright matters and our work has helped shape the application of the law to digital rights. Our lawyers have acted in several cases involving the communication and distribution rights in the digital sphere and we have a particularly strong reputation for advising platforms and rights owners, both in the UK, the EU and Asia.

Database rights

Database rights protect your investment, time and effort into compiling, managing, and maintaining valuable databases. Often relied upon in conjunction with contractual rights, they limit the extent to which others can extract or reutilise the contents of your database. Our lawyers can help you properly manage your database rights so you can maintain a competitive edge and protect your business assets.

How we can help you

We can support you with all your copyright and database matters, including:

  • acting on copyright and database rights disputes, including litigation where necessary
  • identifying your copyright and database rights assets
  • commercial exploitation and licensing
  • copyright and database rights clearance advice
  • implementing the Digital Copyright Directive
  • the liability and obligations of online intermediaries
  • creating, managing, and protecting your databases
  • data ownership and access rights
  • proving copyright ownership, including joint creation and co-creation
  • online content distribution

International IP protection

Copyright and database rights law is an area where international thinking is vital. When you work with us, you'll benefit from our presence in the key jurisdictions. We understand the nuances and differences of overlapping intellectual property laws in the UK, EU and internationally. Our work will help you manage and protect your rights and stay compliant wherever you operate.

Our copyright and database rights lawyers

Based across our 26 international offices, our specialist lawyers combine expertise, tailored solutions and a prudent mindset to make sure that your copyright and database strategy addresses current challenges and anticipates future developments.

We act for a broad range of clients, from leading businesses to innovative start-ups, including cutting-edge games developers, price-comparison sites, newspaper publishers, retailers and internet service providers, helping them make the most of their copyright and database rights. We have a specific focus on IP matters in the tech, media and comms, retail, automotive and life sciences sectors.


Wright v BTC & Ors

Acting for several defendants in their defence of copyright and database right infringement claims brought by Dr Wright, who claims to be the creator of the Bitcoin system.

Etablissements Coquet

Represented the Limoges, France, high-end porcelain factory Etablissements Coquet in the Paris Court of Appeal against the company NESS in relation to copyright infringement of Coquet's best-selling collection “Hémisphère” The court recognised that the decoration was copyrightable and ordered NESS to pay €1m in damages.

Sony Music

Successfully represented Sony Music Entertainment Italy in an unfair competition case against Universal –IRIS in relation to the publication of a music album containing the same songs as an album published by Sony Music.

Publishing entity

Acted for this publishing entity seeking advice on complex claims for copyright infringement, particularly exhaustion of the distribution right, in relation to the sales of books online.



We reviewed all AUDIBLE’s template agreements related to the development and the distribution of e-books to make them compliant with French law, in particular, with the requirements of the French Intellectual Property Code related to authors.


Major Sports Rights Agency

Acting for a major sports rights agency before the Regional Court of Hamburg against a well-known cruise line company who used satellite coverage to make available worldwide sports events to their passengers on the high seas without taking proper copyright and broadcasting rights license from the client who held the exclusive rights for international waters.

Equitable remuneration in the games industry

Defending a well-known online games company against a games author suing for equitable remuneration in a seven digit amount at the Regional Court of Berlin on the basis of the respective games’ alleged success.

Sony Music Entertainment

Assisted on issues concerning the illegal synchronization, by the football club Pescara Calcio (an Italian Football League Championship team), of the phonographic recording of the song "Ricominciamo" by the artist Adriano Pappalardo, with a promotional audio-visual from the annual season ticket campaign 2019-2020.

Gruner + Jahr

Advised market leading magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr in setting up framework agreements with their freelance authors and photographers in order to secure standardized and future-proof copyrights for an international media company and establishing an internal process to cover every assignment from the editorial offices.

Broadcaster and TV Studio

Dispute with rival broadcaster over the use of clips from extremely high profile television show in highlights programme.

Japanese videogame developer

Enforcement campaign against pirated version of an arcade classic made available through source code repository platform.


Connect with one of our experts