ECJ gave preliminary ruling about question if publication of already published photo presents violation of Copyright Directive
Federal Court of Justice of Germany refeed the question for preliminary ruling to ECJ asking for interpretation of Copyright Directive in a case against Land North Rhein-Westphalia secondary school. The case was initiated by author of photography who gave permission for travel agency to publish it on its website. The pupil of the school against which charges are brought, downloaded this photo and included it in its school assignment that was published on the website of school. The author press a charges against school for copyright violation, stating that he did not give permission for publication of this photo on school website. In order to vest decision about this case, the German court asked ECJ the preliminary question: “whether the concept of ‘communication to the public’ covers the posting on a website of a photograph which has been previously published on another website without any restrictions preventing it from being downloaded and with the consent of the copyright holder.” The ECJ stated that in communication to the public encompass and posting of work that was already available with author permission, if that work is published on another place for which copyright holder did not gave its permission (in this case school website). Moreover, not just that this act is communication to the public within the meaning of the Copyright Directive, but also work was made available to new public – the visitors of school website.