A few weeks ago, I reported a Virginia federal court decision that finding a photo on the Internet and then using it without permission on a commercial website can be considered fair use. The decision is controversial, is not a landmark ruling that needs to be enforced by other courts, and may be overturned by a higher court before long. You can read more about that ruling in my earlier article at: http://bit.ly/2MxLsEU.
Now a European Court has ruled almost the opposite: internet users must ask for a photographer’s permission before posting their images online, even if the photos were already freely accessible on other websites. The court stated, “The posting on a website of a photograph that was freely accessible on another website with the consent of the author requires a new authorization by that author.”
Obviously,a ruling by a European court has no direct impact on U.S. courts. However, the latest ruling regarding the use of photos without permission obviously is still being contested worldwide.
Details may be found in an article by Janosch Delcker in the politico.eu web site at https://www.politico.eu/article/ecj-photographer-permission-ruling/.