Copyright © Media Law International 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
While digital progress defines the media market internationally, the print sector maintains a strong position in Austria. The app sector closely follows in market value while OTT television growth is above expectation.
The popularity of print and television is higher in Austria compared with neighbouring jurisdictions. According to a 2015 report by Reuters, 67 per cent of the population used print newspapers in a week compared with an average of 37 per cent in 18 countries.
The international survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), conducted at the University of Oxford, shows resilience of traditional media amid digital advance.
Discussing the importance of the traditional print publishing sector, Michael Borsky at Ruggenthaler, Rest & Borsky said: “Online is catching up of course but print is still dominant here.”
App sector growth in Austria, and the rest of the EU, has been rapid say lawyers, with continued expansion expected throughout 2016. According to Thomas Höhne at Höhne, In der Maur & Partner, “In the coming years apps will, and this is already happening, become more and more important. A large part of online business will be created by
apps or induced by apps and new juridical problems are going to arise.”
Lawyers say there is a clear increase in media-related cross-border disputes between Austria and Germany with German-based celebrities raising claims in the EU Court of Justice. With social media law yet to be developed in Austria, as is the case in many jurisdictions, neighbouring court decisions have become important indicators of legal direction.
Axel Anderl at Dorda Brugger Jordis explained: “What we don’t have is a special court decision in social media. We are still waiting for court decisions indicating if provisions should apply for social media and have to look to Germany as things develop faster in comparison.”
Trying to solve some of them, legislators reformed copyright law in October 2015, with amendments including the right to secondary exploitation for copyright holders, the extension of the quotation right and ancillary copyright for news publishers and private copyright levies.
has an outstanding reputation for media and entertainment. The firm’s media lawyers are described by clients as “strategic and pro-active” with leading expertise in print and broadcasting law. The firm also represents clients in film, music and digital media sectors. Co-founders Thomas Höhne and Thomas In der Maur manage the practice, which is also appointed by high profile individuals in cases of privacy violation.
Korn Rechtsanwälte is widely recognised in the Austrian legal market for its dominance and media focus. With three decades of sector commitment, the practice is notably appointed by clients from the traditional media sector, including publishers and broadcasters. The team also advises clients from the online and sports segments. Founding partner Gottfried Korn leads the practice that also advises on internet, copyright and competition law.
Noll, Keider specialises in media law and copyright. Highly recommended by peers nationally, the firm is praised for the extensive knowledge of its lawyers. Co-founding partner Alfred J. Noll is described by competitors as “one of Austria’s leading lawyers in media law.” The practice is among the country’s most prominent, highlighted for its industry dedication. Klaus Keider is also singled out for his in-depth knowledge of media law and competition law.
The team at Dorda Brugger Jordis is praised by clients for its pre-publication advice, speed and efficiency. Lawyers are also noted for having a high level of technical skill. Newspaper publishers say they appoint the firm as it provides “the highest level of expertise in media law.” Under the leadership of Axel Anderl, the team advised TV2 Group on the transfer of its entity that operates television channel TV2 to a jurisdiction outside of its base in Hungary. The firm also acted for Styria Media Group on digital media and intellectual property matters.
Maria Windhager has high visibility and handles cases diligently, say competitors. The firm’s core service areas are media law and privacy rights law. The team acts for clients from the radio, television, press and social media segments. Founding partner Maria Windhager is praised by peers who say “Maria is often quoted when an expert is needed in media law.”
Broadcast law expert Ploil Krepp & Partner has a distinctive practice focussed on radio and television regulation and licensing. Clients include local and international broadcasters. The team handles cases that include representation in regulation and licensing proceedings, cooperation contracts and cable and satellite infrastructure agreements.
Ruggenthaler, Rest & Borsky has established a strong position in legal market and is popular among media clients. One client noted, “Margot Rest and Michael Borsky are both highly skilled and experienced media lawyers. Both of them are also very good communicators that have profound knowledge of the media market.” The firm represents Austrian newspaper KURIER and has advised Mediaprint on multiple cases connected with media law and competition.
Focussing on licensing and regulatory matters, CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz advises commercial broadcasters, film makers and clients from the sports industry. Practice leaders Egon Engin-Deniz and Johannes Juranek have broad experience advising on copyright, including conditional access law, distribution, unfair competition and publishing law.
Dr. Leonhard Reis has a notable focus on entertainment law with a particular emphasis on the film sector. Established in 2013 by Leonhard Reis, the practice has built a reputable presence and a high profile client base. Lawyers have broad experience representing content distributors including games and interactive media companies, music and publishing companies. Lawyers advise on production agreements, world distribution, financing and intellectual property matters. The firm also has a niche focus on academic and scientific publishing.
Fiebinger Polak Leon’s media work is driven by its intellectual property specialisation. The department is led by Karina Hellbert whose focus includes litigation, data protection and licensing. In highlighted work the team represented a client from the sports sector in litigation on publicity and privacy rights.
Zöchbauer & Frauenberger is well regarded for with media sector work and advice on privacy protection. Co-founder Peter Zöchbauer is respected among peers and described as a leading industry practitioner. The firm is noted for its market visibility and active involvement in local media cases.
Graf & Pitkowitz is known nationally for its IP specialisation. The team is co-led by Ferdinand Graf who litigates in cases before the Austrian Surpreme Court. Lawyers handle a broad range of cases and are widely respected for their in-depth knowledge of copyright law.
Hasch & Partner has a reputation for intellectual property defence that makes it a popular choice for copyright protection in cases in and out of court. Bernhard Steindl is among the firm’s key practitioners for intellectual property law, competition law and local and international commercial law.
Kunz Schima Wallentin’s primary areas of practice are film law, sports law and copyright. Thomas Wallentin leads the team in its advice on financing, production and exploitation of motion pictures. The practice works with international sports organisations and athletes. Lawyers also advise broadcasting companies, television producers, musicians, advertising and new media agencies on all matters related to copyright issues.
Eisenberger & Herzog combines competition law, intellectual property and IT. The practice group is co-led by Wilhelm Offenbeck who is based at the firm’s Graz office. The team works on significant cases advising public and private clients. Andreas Zellhofer jointly manages the department and specialises in antitrust and competition law.
Petsch Frosch Klein Arturo lawyers have long-standing experience advising on multiple aspects of intellectual property law. Founded in 1956, the firm has an established position working with local and international clients on copyright protection, competition law and litigation. The firm also has an office in Milan with Austrian practitioners working with the firm’s international network of lawyers.
The team at Prettenhofer Raimann Pérez advises Swiss and Russian clients on all matters relating to copyright and unfair competition. The firm is traditionally focussed on commercial law and works broadly across a range of neighbouring practice areas.
Ranking and editorials
Dorda Brugger Jordis
Ploil Krepp & Partner
Ruggenthaler, Rest & Borsky
CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz
Dr. Leonhard Reis
Fiebinger Polak Leon
Gheneff Rami Sommer
Zöchbauer & Frauenberger
Graf & Pitkowitz
Hasch & Partner
Kunz Schima Wallentin
Eisenberger & Herzog
Petsch Frosch Klein Arturo
Prettenhofer Raimann Pérez
RANKING AND EDITORIALS