Students Lose EU Court Fight Over Copyright of Online Photos

Students are violating copyright law by grabbing freely available photos off the internet when they use them for educational purposes, the European Union’s top court ruled.

The EU Court of Justice gave a binding ruling Aug. 7 in a dispute referred to it by Germany’s Federal Court of Justice.

The city of Waltrop and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are facing an action for compensation from photographer Dirk Renckhoff, who argued that a picture of Cordoba in Spain, which he had allowed an online travel magazine to use, was illegally taken and reproduced by a student paper.

The German top court asked whether such a situation was a violation of copyright under EU law, when the student referenced where the picture was taken from but failed to name the photographer’s name.

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