Protecting one's image: Supreme Court issues controversial ruling


Protecting one's image: Supreme Court issues controversial ruling

International Law Office, Media & Entertainment Newsletter
2013, June 20

The latest decision of the Supreme Court (6 Ob 256/12h ) regarding the protection of an individual's image has provoked harsh criticism and raised concerns for photographers and media companies alike.

On February 27 2013 the Supreme Court prohibited the taking of photographs of a person without his or her permission. The taking of pictures of a person had previously been viewed as unproblematic under applicable law, longstanding jurisdiction and doctrine; insteas, Austrian law has banned publications from printing such images where they infringe on the legitimate interests of the person depicted, based on Section 78 of the Copyright Act. In case of a threatened interference with his or her rights, an affected person could file for preventive injunctive relief, which was also aimed at prohibiting publication of the offending image.

Following this judgment, questions have arisen as to whether a change in jurisdiction is imminent that would place a wholesale ban on the taking of pictures, rather than simply addressing infringing publication thereof.

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