Links & Law - Information about legal aspects of search engines, linking and framing

Hyperlink & Search Engine Law News  Decisions & Court Documents Worldwide Legal Resources (Hyperlink & Search Engine Law Articles) Linking Law Cases Search Engine Law Publications by Dr. Stephan Ott Technical    Background

Germany: Thumbnail decision revisited

I already mentioned in the last update that the German photographer Michael Bernhard and the artist Thomas Horn have won lawsuits against Google for displaying thumbnails images of their works in picture search results.

I now have the court decision (German):

According to the Court Google infringes the making available right of the copyright owner. The court examines several exceptions to the copyright exclusivity, e.g. the right of citation, but finds that no exception applies.

Earlier court decisions on thumbnails in Germany discussed the possibility of an implied consent by the copyright holder. But this case was different: The picture, which Google used to create the thumbnail, had not been put on the web by the copyright owner and he had also not allowed the reproduction by a third party. So there was no basis for an implied consent.


The court then stressed the importance of search engines for the internet (although it said that picture search is not as important as web search), but it also said that it was not up to the court to invent new copyright exceptions. It saw no possibility to say that Google's actions are legal.





The Links & Law website is updated regularily, so  check back for updated information and resources about search engine and linking issues.

You are currently in the archive with older news. A complete list of the updates can be found here!


Masthead/Curriculum Vitae
Copyright © 2002-2008 Dr. Stephan Ott 

All Rights Reserved.