Copyright in Portrait Photographs: ECJ Decision in Painer v Standard Verlags GmbH

The European Court of Justice last week delivered its judgment in this important case for photographers, largely upholding the Advocate General’s Opinion reported in detail in our April 2011 bulletin.

The judgment confirms that portrait photographs enjoy the same copyright protection in the EU as other photographs and artistic works. To suggest otherwise may seem absurd, but this was one of a number of defences put forward by German and Austrian newspapers and websites who had published photographs of an abducted girl by a freelance photographer without a licence. The test, in essence, is whether the photographer has stamped his or her individual mark on the work.


Portrait Photographs, Photofits and Missing Person Apeals: Painer v Standard Verlags gmbh
Copyright in Advertising Slogans? Meltwater and ‰”Intellectual Creation‰”
Who owns copyright in digital images?

Bulletins are for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters. Where reference is made to Court decisions facts referred to are those reported as found by the Court. Please note that past bulletins included in the Archive have not been updated by any subsequent changes in statute or case law.