Sat, Nov. 14, 2009

Third-Party Images in German Group Blogs

.   Who is liable for copyright violations when community blog articles include pictures supplied by a contributing author and owned by a third party? A November 12, 2009 ruling, not yet published, by the German Supreme Court in civil matters, Bundesgerichtshof, renders both the author and the operator of the community blog liable.

Its press release in the matter I ZR 166/07 explains the specific facts that caused the operator of a recipe site to lose the otherwise available insulation from contributory liability under German copyright law. The owner marked all contributions with its logo and identifiers and minimized clues to the authorship of the contributor.

The general terms and conditions for the use of the site attempted to exclude operator liability for copyright violations but failed, the court held, because the operator sought credit for all contributions. The opinion should be published in the near future on the court's website. The recipe sites at issue are and

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