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Hyperlinks to Illegal Covergirl Pictures - Munich Court Decision

According to the regional court Munich I (AZ. 7 O 18165/03), the operator of a link catalog, to which unknown third parties can add links, is not obliged to check for possible illegal content on the linked to sites. Otherwise the entire business model of such a link catalog would be in question. Defendants website contained a list of links which lead to websites with erotic content. Everyone could add links without prior examination of the defendant. In spring 2002 an unknown person added a link, which led to a homepage, on which among other things ten naked photos of a former Playboy Covergirl could be seen. The playmate had only given the right of reproduction to the Playboy but not to the operator of the linked to site. She required the deletion of the link and payment of damages. The playmate justified her complaint with the fact that the defendant did  not check new links.


Defendant deleted the link, after he was informed that the operator of the linked to website did not possess the copyright for the photos published there. The court found that the defendant did not make himself liable to pay damages, because he was not obligated to check every new link for possible violations of law. However there is the obligation for the operator to remove a link after he gains knowledge.


  • October 31, 2004: Anbieter von Link-Katalogen haften nicht für fremde Links zu illegalen Aktfotos, Heise,
    "Das Bereithalten eines Katalogs im Internet, in denen Dritte ungeprüft Hyperlinks zu externen pornografischen Websites eintragen können, begründet für den Betreiber keine Pflicht zum Schadensersatz, wenn die fremden Verknüpfungen auf Seiten mit kopierten Nacktbildern führen."



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