• sUpdate: Berlin High Court Decision Granting Subsequent Compensation for Johnny Depp's Dubbing Actor in "Pirates of the Caribbean" Becomes  Final
  • May 12, 2017 | Authors: Viola Bensinger; Christoph Enaux; Stefan Lütje
  • Law Firm: Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Berlin Office
  • A June 1, 2016 decision (in German only) by the Berlin High Court (Kammergericht) awarding dubbing actor Marcus Off subsequent compensation for his work as the German voice of "Captain Jack Sparrow" in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films (I-III) has taken legal effect and become res judicata. The Berlin High Court held that Off as the dubbing actor is entitled to subsequent compensation from two Disney entities exploiting the films in theaters and through DVD/VoD. The Court argued that there was an evident disproportion between the originally agreed compensation for his work of approximately EUR 1,300 to 4,000 per film and the films’ reported total gross revenues of approximately EUR 140 million in German-speaking markets. In its judgment, the Berlin High Court outlined a detailed model for calculating subsequent compensation taking into account viewing numbers from theaters, home entertainment, and downloads, and awarded Off an additional compensation of approximately ten times the originally agreed amount (EUR 67,314.77 in total, equivalent to a little less than 0.05 percent of reported gross revenues of the films).

    While the defendants appealed the Berlin High Court’s decision, the petition to appeal has, on March 30, now been finally rejected by the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof), rendering the Berlin High Court's award of subsequent compensation final after a decade of proceedings.