Saturday, April 4, 2020

German Artists Sue Google

German artists have taken issue with Google’s Image Search program, and so far won a German court ruling against Google for copyright infringement. This is certainly a case to keep an eye on, as it may dictate how copyright law splits when it comes down to national borders. Although U.S. courts have already ruled in favor of Google on this particular issue, the question of its international veracity is still unknown.

Michael Bernhard makes his living photographing celebrities and models for German magazines….So when his photographs kept showing up on Google Image Search, which indexes and displays pictures as small thumbnails, Bernhard went to his attorney, Matthies van Eendenburg. “To me it seems to be pretty clear that there is no legal permission for this kind of usage,” van Eendenburg told Deutsche Welle. “If you spread these pictures around the Internet, one of his sources of profit is endangered.”

Bernhard, a Hamburg resident filed suit in the regional court and won. In a parallel lawsuit, judges ruled in favor of Thomas Horn, an artist who wanted his comic figures removed from Google Image Search. Google filed appeals in both cases last week.blockquote>

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a US-based cultural historian and media scholar, is currently writing a book called “The Googlization of Everything.” He thinks that both the courts and public in Europe have taken a more critical view of Google than the United States.

Oberbeck acknowledged that the stakes are high. If Google doesn’t win, it could mean the end of Image Search, as there’s no way that Google could look through millions of pictures and sort out the copyright claims, he said.

More from Deutsche Welle.


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