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European Union’s Top Court Makes Ruling On Internet Photo Use

Earlier this month, the European Union’s Top Court established a ruling on the use of images online. The Court says you must get permission from a photographer before publishing their photos online, even if they were freely accessible elsewhere online.

The ruling comes from a case in Germany regarding photographer Dick Renckhoff. Renckhoff gave a travel website permission to publish one of his photographs. Someone else downloaded this photo from the travel website and used it in a school presentation, which was then published on the school’s website. Renckhoff wanted €400 in damages since he only gave the travel website permission to use the photo.

The Court states that, “The posting of a work protected by copyright on a website other than that on which it was initially communicated with the consent of the copyright holder must, in circumstances such as those at issue, be regarded as making available to a new public.”

The ruling aims to provide protection for photographers and to ensure they receive proper notice and reward for use of their work. Learn more about the details of the EU Court ruling at curia.europe.eu.

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