German court: Google Image thumbnails infringe on copyright

As much as people complain about the challenges of balancing copyrights and fair use in the US, overseas courts have been happy to provide examples that remind us that some aspects of US copyright law are actually fairly liberal. The latest such reminder comes courtesy of a case in Germany that revisits an issue that appears settled in the US: the right of image search services to create thumbnails from copyrighted works to display with the search results. The German courts have now determined that this is not OK in Germany, where Google has just lost two copyright suits over image thumbnails.
arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081013-german-court-google-image-thumbnails-infringe-on-copyright.htmlGoogle Loses German Copyright Cases Over Image-Search Previews
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.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=a_C1wVkCvPwwGerman court says IP addresses in server logs are not personal data
A German court has ruled that website operators are allowed to store the internet protocol (IP) addresses of their visitors without violating data protection legislation. Without additional information, IP addresses do not count as personal data, it said.The issue has never been tested in a UK court but the view of the German court is consistent with guidance published last year by the UK’s Information Commissioner.
http://out-law.com/page-9505Google to appeal German copyright decisions
Google lost two copyright cases in Germany on Monday but the search company reportedly plans to appeal.A German court ruled that Google violated the copyright of Michael Bernhard by displaying one of his photographs as a preview thumbnail, according to the Bloomberg news service.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10064740-93.html
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,1000000097,39515801,00.htm

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