guilds and unions


authors and artists

Eine Tänzerin in Pose in einem lichtdurchfluteten Raum

Fair copyright legislation.
A vibrant culture.

Initiative Urheberrecht (authors' rights initiative) represents the interests of approximately 140,000 authors and performing artists in the fields of composition, orchestra, journalism, film and television, photography, documentary film, fiction and non-fiction, design, illustration, visual arts, drama, dance, game development and many more.

Together we create an ambitious culture, high-quality education, enjoyable entertainment, independent journalism and lively discourse, contribute to the diversity of opinions and democracy and establish an internationally strong creative location that is also of great economic importance: in 2019, the industry contributed 3.1 percent of Germany's gross domestic product (GDP).

With the collaboration of 44 guilds and unions, Initiative Urheberrecht is the representative platform for all branches of creative work. We actively support the interests of all authors and performing artists and fight for fair copyright legislation in Germany and Europe.

Frau arbeitet am Laptop im Homeoffice

My work.
For you.

Finger on the pulse of politics.
This is how we work.

Our website maps the discourse on all aspects of copyright legislation through regular publications. Thanks to its expertise, Initiative Urheberrecht is the main point of contact for all questions relating to copyright in Germany. Through comments and statements, we speak out on all legislative procedures concerning copyright and related areas, as well as relevant judgements on policy, the press and the public. We are also active in Brussels, when necessary, and maintain a well-developed network with the responsible parties in the 16 federal states.

Our annual international conference on authors' rights is a lively platform for discussion between politicians, scientists, people working in the cultural sector and professional creatives. This top-class political podium provides impetus for the current challenges pertaining to copyright law and opens up exchanges with legal experts and authors. Speakers at our most recent conferences include Prof Monika Grütters, Heiko Maas and Prof Dr Dr Udo Di Fabio among others. These events always produce concrete suggestions and ideas for the future.

Engaging in direct dialogue with members of the Bundestag is another important element of our work. In addition to exchanges on a smaller scale, professional discussions regularly take place between members of the Bundestag and representatives of Initiative Urheberrecht, during which specialised topics relating to the respective industries are discussed and brought to the attention of politicians. It goes without saying that Initiative Urheberrecht maintains regular contact with the relevant ministries – particularly the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as a number of others. We engage in discussions at the ministerial level, but are also in constant dialogue with the heads of specialist departments and other staff.

In addition, Initiative Urheberrecht is active at the European level, for example in the form of "parliamentary breakfasts" with MEPs and regular discussions with European Commission representatives.

Our members meet regularly to discuss current challenges and define the umbrella organisation's joint strategy. We are also involved in various working groups devoted to individual topics, for example the EU Copyright Directive and the current issue of its transposition into national law.

The Initiative Urheberrecht operates from Berlin and has its office in the trendy district of Friedrichshain, where it set up the "Kulturplatte" together with other cultural associations. It is also active in Brussels. The managing director is Katharina Uppenbrink, the spokesperson for the creators in the Authors’ Rights Initiative is the composer Matthias Hornschuh.

The legal framework of Initiative Urheberrecht is the Förderverein der Initiative Urheberrecht e.V. The board of this organisation is elected every three years and currently consists of Pim G. Richter, Micki Meuser and Valentin Döring. Initiative Urheberrecht is financed by membership fees and project grants, using these funds to organise events such as the annual conference at the Academy of Arts. Since 2020, Initiative Urheberrecht projects, especially those in the area of communications, have been increasingly supported with funds from the Initiative Musik gemeinnützige Projektgesellschaft mbH, a funding organisation of the German federal government.

Mann mit Kamera auf der Schulter filmt auf einem Festival


billion euros in turnover


million workers

Our cultural and creative industries.


Initiative Urheberrecht e.V.
Weberstrasse 61
53113 Bonn

Berlin Office –
New address since 2021:

Authors' Rights Initiative
Markgrafendamm 24
Haus 18
10245 Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)30 20 91 58 07


Our team

Katharina Uppenbrink Initiative Urheberrecht Managing Director


Katharina Uppenbrink has been Managing Director of Initiative Urheberrecht (Authors' Rights Initiative) since 2014.
After training and studying in Berlin and London, she worked for various publishing houses. In 2002, she became managing director of the Association of German Screenwriters (now DDV). She was appointed to various committees of the German Federal Film Board (FFA), became involved in the Authors' Rights Initiative at an early stage and helped to establish the umbrella organization of European screenwriters' associations, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) in Brussels. For several years, she played a leading role in the planning and organization of the World Conference of Screenwriters (WCOS) in Thessaloniki, Athens, Barcelona, Warsaw, and Berlin. She is a member of the steering committee of “Datenraum Kultur”, one of 18 lighthouse projects from the German government's digital strategy.

Matthias Hornschuh Composer & speaker for the creatives in the Initiative Urheberrecht


Matthias Hornschuh is a composer, publicist and university lecturer and campaigns in a variety of functions for culture, media, society and especially intensively for the rights of creators. In the summer of 2021, he was appointed spokesperson for creators in the Authors’ Rights Initiative.

Hornschuh serves as Chairman of mediamusic / berufsverband medienmusik, member of the supervisory board of GEMA, deputy president of Landesmusikrat NRW, member of the board of Kulturrat NRW, member of the advisory board of CREATIVE.NRW, deputy member of the state media commission.

Ein Musikproduzent sitzt an einem Mischpult im Tonstudio

Strong together.
These are our partners.

Our members

Our partners

Funded by the Initiative Musik gemeinnützige Projektgesellschaft mbH with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.