Country/Region
Germany

Court name
Regional Court of Hamburg (Landgericht Hamburg)

Published
2016/11/18

More decisions in this case


Description

German court required removal of hyperlink to CC-licensed image used in violation of license terms

Note: the parties names are redacted in the published decision. The case number is ref. 310 O 402/16.

Case summary

BACKGROUND

A German website posted a hyperlink to image on another website. That image was available under a CC license, but the website where the image was posted had not complied with the CC license terms and was therefore in violation of the copyright. The photographer who had taken the image filed a lawsuit requesting that the German website take down the link.

RESULT

The court granted an injunction requiring that the link be removed from the German website.

TAKEAWAY

This case was an interpretation of an earlier European Court of Justice ruling that held that a website that would be held liable for copyright infringement when it posted links to infringing material intending to make a profit. The court in this case broadly interpreted what it means for a link to be posted "for profit," stating that the determination is made based on whether the website is intended to make money and not based on whether publishing the particular hyperlink in question was.

As it relates to CC licenses, the significance of the case is that the court took as a given that using a CC license in violation of its terms constitutes copyright infringement.

Full decision here (in German)