Upload of pics in a cloud is not a copyright infringement

Cloud Computing

The District Court Heidelberg has decided that uploading someone else`s photos in a cloud generally is no copyright infringement (Az: 1 O 54/15).

In the present case, a private person had bought a hard disk on ebay from a private seller. This hard disk accidentally still contained private photos of the seller, which the buyer uploaded in his cloud. Therefore the seller filed a suit to default the public access and transfer the photos to third parties.


However, the Court didn´t judge the upload to the cloud as a copyright infringement. Generally publishing pictures is only permitted with the consent of the person concerned. Yet uploading photos to a cloud does not constitute a public display of images according to § 22 paragraph 1 German Art Copyright Act. Furthermore it`s not a dissemination within the meaning of the law, as it doesn`t provide the photots for at least another person. Generally only the user of the cloud itself had access to the uploaded photos. It can not be assumed that the operator of the cloud automatically would have access. Even if the operator would have access, this would only be the user`s fault, if he had caused or wanted it. Forasmuch the plaintiff had no injunctive relief against the defendant.


Uploading other photos in the own cloud is not a publication and therefore does not constitute a copyright infringement.