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Google Loses Picture Copyright Case In Germany

     
2:57 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google Loses Picture Copyright [bloomberg.com]Case In Germany
Google Inc., owner of the world's most popular Internet-search engine, lost two copyright lawsuits in Germany over displaying photos and artworks as thumbnails in a preview of search results.

Google's preview of a picture by German photographer Michael Bernhard violates his copyrights, the Regional Court of Hamburg ruled, his lawyer Matthies van Eendenburg said in an interview today. Thomas Horn, who holds the copyrights on some comics that were displayed in Google search results, won a second case, court spokeswoman Sabine Westphalen said in an e-mail.

1:49 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"almost certainly fair use"? That's for a supreme court to decide. Hopefully one day. And depending who's in power, that can go either way.
2:04 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I also run a site with image galleries.

I estimate that 90% of the traffic that comes from Google image search are looking for FREE photos to put in their PowerPoints, or to use in their blogs etc. I understand that an image search is only of use for those who want to get free access to such photos.

2:16 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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THIS IS NONSENSE! Thumbnails are like the plot summary on the back of a book that's ultimately designed to make you buy the damn thing.

This guy received tons of traffic through Google, and now he gets paid because 1% of the visitors stole thumbnails of pictures that are readily available on his site anyways? So I guess publishers should sue magazine shops because a few people get away with sneaking a peek every now and then.

2:29 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I notice that Google aren't showing thumbnails when you select the small images option. Some random searches reveal a lot of 50x50 pixel images that are shown full size, for instance.

So the smaller your images are, the less it becomes fair use and the more it's just plain copying.

4:47 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hey...didnt somebody once say "people do what they can..Americans invented the internet and the Germans bureaucrized (is that a word?) it" or something? Us Germans have a reputation to protect ;))))
5:00 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm German, and I live in the U.S. My family tells me that Germany is turning into America faster than you can pass a bailout bill.
7:48 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Must not get dragged into politics as tempting as the bailout jokes are. Got burned twice already ;)
11:11 am on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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yes your right incrediBILL - Google does a lot of bad things, but in this case, I always says if a person dont want there images spread over the net, then keep it on a https or with a login , you also dont keep your House door wide open.

I know in Hamburg or Germany there is many lawyers that just sent warnings out to every person that have some kind of image on there website to cash in and its big amount, its just so "not correct" they use there power for such sh..

Once again if you dont want your images spread, close the door.

11:22 am on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>> I estimate that 90% of the traffic that comes from Google image search are looking for FREE photos

I disagree. Pretty much every person I know that searches on Google including Google image search are looking for answers to a question of some kind. If they want to know what Angelina Jolie looks like, find funny pictures to the latest cars etc.

I do agree that pretty much all webmasters that use Google images 99% of them are just out to steal your images.

12:13 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I had a chat with a German friend a few weeks ago, he told me that the new fashion in Germany for thousands of unemployed, young mostly, solicitors is to spend 24/24 hours a day 7 days a week searching the web for copyright infringements, photos, text, etc......
12:42 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It is the truth. My next door neighbour is one of these young solicitors, and their firm does exactly this. Gotta pay for that new Porsche somehow right..
5:41 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I once made a tidy sum from Google's image caching. The German should figure out the same and take more pictures. :/

p/g

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