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Photographer snaps success at the European Court of Justice

German photographer Dirk Renckhoff has recently succeeded in his claim against a German high school at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for copyright infringement. A student at the school had been using his images without permission.

A student from a high school in Waltop had downloaded the photo from a travel magazine website and used it for a school report she presented.

The image in dispute was a photograph he had captured of the Spanish city, Cordoba. Renckhoff had given exclusive rights to travel magazine Reisemagazin Schwarzaufweiss for the use of his photo. It was, however, shown on the magazine’s website without a copyright notice or identification of its source.

The ECJ in Luxembourg agreed with the photographer’s argument that third-party usage was an infringement of his copyright. As a result, the photographer will receive €400 in damages and the photo will be removed from the school’s website.

The Court has held that had the student instead displayed a hyperlink (like the magazine name above) to the image, that would have been permissible. That means that the legitimate rights-holder benefits from the hits to the website.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com