Court ruling on the use of stock photos

After the Regional Court of Cologne back rowed in the RedTube scandal last week and must never have approved the publication of the disputed IP addresses, it delivers another highly controversial and questionable judgement with its decision 14 O 427/13: The originator of stock photos of a certain picture agency must also be named via the direct access to his pictures via their URL.

The said judgment in the first instance concerns the Pixelio image database. Specifically, a photographer who sells his pictures on the platform free of charge obtained an injunction against a blogger. During the hearing, the plaintiff also stated how the direct access to the image could have been prevented without naming the author. With the help of jQuery it is possible to prevent right-clicks on images:

$(function() {
    $('img').each(function() {
        $(this).bind("contextmenu", function(e) {

Such scripts can easily be circumvented and are therefore useless and ineffective. the integration of the source reference directly into the image file is also questionable, as then the image no longer corresponds to the originally published state and this procedure is aesthetically hardly justifiable. millions of such images are freely accessible and easily acquired via Google's image search.

If this legal ruling is shared by other courts and is common practice for the correct use of stock photography under licensing law, this has enormous effects on the use of image (and video) material by photo agencies - the required mention of the copyright notice is in practice hardly feasible.