Germany: Virtual Reality – Live Promoters' Dream Or Nightmare?

Last Updated: 2 May 2018
Article by Sven Preiss
Most Read Contributor in Germany, September 2018

Exclusive listening, together with thousands of other fans, to the album of one's favorite band at a worldwide Virtual Reality Live event even before the release date: the "Gorillaz" made this kind of futuristic idea a reality at their first "Worldwide Listening Party" last year. At this biggest geo-specific event to date, called "Human House Party," fans were able to listen to the band's new album via app at 500 designated locations around the world. Sponsor and technology partner Deutsche Telekom refers to the event as a global, shared listening experience – from Tokyo to Santiago (

But the Gorillaz are by no means the only ones in launching a virtual campaign. Even entire concerts and sporting events are now aired in Virtual reality (VR). VR is the representation and simultaneous perception of reality and its physical properties in a computer-generated, interactive virtual environment. As a result, users are right in the middle of the action. Many artists in the music industry already use this technique to offer their fans a unique experience. This happens during live broadcasts at specified locations or even while lounging on the sofa at home. Even NBA games are broadcasted live as VR experience. California-based NextVR is one of the most highly recognized companies in this VR sector right now ( All that is needed for the virtual experience is a pair of VR glasses and Internet access.

VR-Experience – rights for promoters?

While the streaming speed and quality and the price would play the most important role for viewers, the question also arises: What does it mean in legal terms? In addition to artists' copyrights, data protection law, and music law, the specific event promoters' right in Section 81 German Copyright Act plays an important role. The latter expressly protects live events.

Events are only subject to the protection of the event promoters' right if the services of a performing artist are shown. Pure sports events are therefore not covered by this protection in Germany. The event must also be live and public and take place in front of an audience. It is questionable whether the virtual transmission of a live performance has an actual audience. Considering, however, that the new VR technology can simulate an almost perfect feeling of being right in the middle, the performers (also) deliver their show to their VR audience.

The owner of the company organizing the performance of the performing artist enjoys the protection of the event promoters' right. In the case of virtual transmissions, this will regularly be the company that is responsible for the organization and financial aspects of VR recording and transmission to the end devices.

Association for safeguarding promoters' rights

Due to the growing relevance of live events, the Association for Safeguarding Promoters' Rights (Gesellschaft für die Wahrnehmung von Veranstalterrechten, GWVR) was founded in Germany to enable promoters to participate in the proceeds generated by concert recordings. GWVR licensees include, for example, manufacturers of audio and video carriers with recordings of events, radio and television stations that broadcast recordings of events, as well as online providers such as YouTube or Spotify, which make event recordings available on the Internet.

VR seems to be gaining importance in this field as well. One of the recent GWVR press releases states: "The Federal Association of the Event Industry has taken another step towards commercializing promoters' ancillary copyrights. Concert and tour promoters can now use a simple standard procedure to make live recordings available for download on Apple Music and iTunes so that they can be commercially exploited. In addition, a separate format for audio and video recordings of concerts, festivals, club performances, comedy, circus and shows, theater and musical performances – in other words, all live content – is planned." (

Is VR the end of Live?

In the future, the VR sector will develop and progress massively, while a declining trend can also be observed in some cases. For example, in 2016, NextVR broadcasted various NBA games in 180 degrees instead of 360 degrees. Danny Keens, who is responsible for NextVR's content, explains that the added value of watching the popcorn-chewing fan behind viewers is rather limited. Moreover, the question of viewers' personal rights does not have to be considered.

However, the price of VR glasses still seems to keep many viewers from enjoying the VR Experience. Viewers also complained about being shielded from the outside world when wearing VR glasses. Efforts are already underway on social applications that could alleviate this deficiency in the future. We are also excited to observe Apple's patent research and development in relation to virtual reality. Latest designs point to optimized, light headsets with lens technology ( VR becoming mainstream is just a matter of time.

VR ultimately would not replace the live experience itself. Nevertheless, artists, promoters, and marketers should be aware of the possibilities of VR and consider the "Gorillaz" as role model. Even some of their concerts were broadcasted online with 360-degree live streams in cooperation with Telekom Electronic Beats worldwide ( The protection of VR Experiences that is considered possible by German copyright law opens up new possibilities for artists and Promoters.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions