Pho­tos in the cloud no vio­la­ti­on of copy­right

Cloud computingThe Hei­del­berg Regio­nal Court has ruled that uploa­ding other people’s pho­tos to a cloud does not con­sti­tu­te copy­right inf­rin­ge­ment in prin­ci­ple(Ref.: 1 O 54/15).

In the case at hand, a pri­va­te buy­er had purcha­sed a hard dri­ve from a pri­va­te sel­ler via ebay. On this were acci­den­tal­ly still pri­va­te pho­tos of the sel­ler, which the buy­er uploa­ded to his cloud. The sel­ler then sued for an injunc­tion against making the pho­tos publicly available and trans­fer­ring them to third par­ties.

Copy­right inf­rin­ge­ment

Howe­ver, the court did not con­sider the uploa­ding of the pho­tos to the cloud to be a copy­right inf­rin­ge­ment. In prin­ci­ple, the publi­ca­ti­on of pho­tos is only per­mit­ted with the con­sent of the per­son con­cer­ned. Howe­ver, uploa­ding pho­tos to a cloud does not con­sti­tu­te a public dis­play of the images within the mea­ning of Sec­tion 22 (1) of the Ger­man Art Copy­right Act. The­re is also no dis­se­mi­na­ti­on within the mea­ning of the law, as the pro­vi­si­on to at least one other per­son is lack­ing. In prin­ci­ple, only the user of the cloud its­elf has access to the uploa­ded pho­tos. It could not be assu­med that the cloud ope­ra­tor would auto­ma­ti­cal­ly also have access. Even if the ope­ra­tor had access, this would only be attri­bu­ta­ble to the user if he had cau­sed it or wan­ted it. In this respect, the plain­ti­ff had no injunc­ti­ve reli­ef against the plain­ti­ff.


Uploa­ding other people’s pho­tos to your own cloud is not publi­ca­ti­on and the­r­e­fo­re does not con­sti­tu­te copy­right inf­rin­ge­ment.

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