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Klitschko brothers not required to pay into Artists' Social Welfare Fund – CMS Hasche Sigle wins for Sportfive before German Social Court


CMS Hasche Sigle has successfully defended Sportfive against the Artists' Social Welfare Fund (Künstlersozialkasse) before the German Social Court. Sportfive marketed the rights of boxing professionals Vitali and Vladimir Klitschko, including personality rights. The Artists' Social Welfare Fund had demanded that Sportfive pay contributions to the Welfare Fund of 3.8% of the fees received by the Klitschkos for appearing in various advertising commercials. The Fund argued that sporting professionals who appear in advertising commercials are carrying out a freelance performing arts activity.

The German Social Court took a landmark decision for the entire sector ruling that appearances in advertising commercials do not make sports professionals artists. The advertising sector uses sports celebrities because they are well-known and role models to large sections of the general public and not because of their artistic abilities.

"The Klitschko brothers get their fees precisely because they do not play roles" said Bernd Roock CMS Hasche Sigle, who represented Sportfive in this case. "They appear as the Klitschko brothers, i.e. as themselves."

Today's decision (case no.: B 3 KS 1/07 R), which came in a leap-frog appeal (Sprungrevision) to which the parties had agreed owing to the fundamental nature of the point at issue, is of great relevance to all sporting celebrities who appear in advertising commercials. It did not consider whether sporting professionals have to contribute to the Artists' Social Welfare Fund if they appear in theatrical motion films.

Advisers to Sportfive GmbH
CMS Hasche Sigle
Bernd Roock (Litigation)

Contact CMS Hasche Sigle

Bernd Roock
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 376 30-311
E-mail: [email protected]

About CMS Hasche Sigle

CMS Hasche Sigle is one of the leading German law firms with more than 500 lawyers. It covers the entire area of commercial law and provides legal advice to major German and international companies from a wide spectrum of industry. It has offices in Berlin, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Stuttgart, Chemnitz, Dresden, Brussels, Belgrade, Moscow and Shanghai.

CMS Hasche Sigle is a partnership of lawyers and tax consultants; for register details / list of partners see www.cms-hs.com

CMS Hasche Sigle is a member of CMS, an alliance of leading independent European law firms. With over 595 partners, a total of 2,000 lawyers and tax consultants and around 4,200 support staff we advise our clients at commercial locations in 48 business centres in Europe and further afield on legal and tax issues.

In addition to CMS Hasche Sigle, the following firms are also members of the CMS alliance: CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni (Italy), CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo (Spain), CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (France), CMS Cameron McKenna LLP (Great Britain), CMS DeBacker (Belgium), CMS Derks Star Busmann (the Netherlands), CMS von Erlach Henrici (Switzerland) and CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz (Austria). CMS has 58 offices in 25 countries around the world.

For further information on CMS Hasche Sigle see www.cms-hs.com and on the CMS alliance see www.cmslegal.com