It may be useful to explain why a comparative approach was chosen. It is easy and comfortable to get caught up in one's own legal system and not look abroad. It is often difficult enough to understand and apply one’s own laws accurately and the study of a foreign legal system may seem an effort too great. Yet, this reluctance to look beyond the familiar is fatal to legal development and improvement since entirely new ideas are rare in the field of law and the main source of change and new approaches is borrowing from another legal system. If one does not stray beyond the boundaries of the familiar, progress is inhibited just as learning would be without a steady flow of accessible information. This may be illustrated by examples as old as the reception of Roman law in Europe. Therefore, it is important to conduct this study comparatively, especially because the problems concerning the topic, like the Internet, are global and may pose much of the same difficulties for many legal systems. As to the structure of this thesis, a few remarks may be useful. In order to keep the work organized and systematic, the relevant law and its application to the issue will be presented and discussed separately for the legal systems of Germany and the United States. Furthermore, the historical and philosophical background of copyright law in the respective legal systems is included but kept as short as possible, so as to address the real issue inappropriate length. It is, however, necessary to elaborate on historical and philosophical topics to some extent, since both are vital to the understanding of copyright law, the problems arising in conjunction with the Internet and even more so to an insightful comparison of the laws discussed. The final part of this thesis, after the presentation, analysis, and comparison of the laws and the respective problems and solutions to the problems concerning the Internet, will be a conclusion including the author's opinions and suggestions.