Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

German Court Rules That You Can't Keep Compromising Photos After a Break-Up 334

Posted by timothy
from the talk-about-hard-to-enforce dept.
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A German amateur photographer has found out after his ex-girlfriend took him to court, which ruled that the subjects of smutty pictures can withdraw their consent if they're naked. [News release in German.] The shutterbug was able to keep the clothed pictures, however, as they weren't considered to compromise the reputation of the woman in question."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

German Court Rules That You Can't Keep Compromising Photos After a Break-Up

Comments Filter:
  • Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kruach aum (1934852) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @04:54PM (#47084541)

    When you take off your clothes in front of a camera you should be responsible enough to understand the consequences, just like with literally every other bad decision you can make. Love is not an excuse to be retarded.

  • Ramifications (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @04:56PM (#47084555) Homepage Journal

    This should have far reaching ramifications when it comes to copyright law. As long as the original video or photographs were made consensually or in public then the photographer owns the copyright. I don't see how that can be undone. It also should open the door for further defining what exactly entails "compromising the reputation". What if someone takes a (non-sexual) photograph of a person cheating in public? Or a video of someone acting like a jerk? Those would also compromise the reputation of the subject. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets overturned higher up.

  • Need better link (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BradMajors (995624) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @04:56PM (#47084559)

    This posting needs a better link. One that actually has some information.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:04PM (#47084601)

    No body plans to break up while going into a relationship normally. If people want to play with their toys in their bedrooms, that is their own business. In this case, a camera is a toy. Once a relationship is over, they can keep the camera, but the images should be the property of those in them. If more than one person? Cut out the others.

    They did not enter into a contract, verbal or otherwise, that they give up the rights to their likeness.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kruach aum (1934852) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:09PM (#47084631)

    No alcoholic or chain smoker plans to become addicted when they buy that first bottle of whisky/pack of cigarettes either, but that doesn't mean it's not something they shouldn't take into consideration.

    What this court case shows is that this woman is a poor judge of character. And instead of taking the opportunity to learn something, she just sues, making sure nothing is resolved and in fact (by winning) positively reinforcing her poor people judging skills.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:37PM (#47084733)

    When you take off your clothes in front of a camera you should be responsible enough to understand the consequences, just like with literally every other bad decision you can make. Love is not an excuse to be retarded.

    If you want to include the word "should", then apply it where it belongs. When you take your clothes off in front of a camera, there should not be consequences beyond your partner being aroused. That the woman in the article has to worry about her "reputation" is what is wrong. Personally the only way her having taken nude pictures impacts my view of her is that I now know she's a fun-loving person comfortable being attractive and sexual. She's not ashamed or repressed or otherwise convinced that the animal she is is somehow a bad thing.

    There shouldn't be a big deal over being seen naked.

    I get it that we're not there societally yet. I get it that because we're not there, there are consequences. But if we're going to talk about "should", let's put it where it belongs; we all should be comfortable in our natural state. That someone posts a picture of the shape of your butt shouldn't matter any more than someone posting a sound sample of your voice or a molding of your elbow.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:41PM (#47084743)

    No body plans to break up while going into a relationship normally.

    Irrelevant. If the pictures aren't stored on their private property, then too bad for them.

    And what makes naked pictures special? What is this puritan nonsense?

  • Re:Ramifications (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:48PM (#47084771) Homepage

    Why is it that Slashdot always seems to completely misunderstand all European court rulings?

    The point is that the photographs were made in private, with the expectation of privacy. The girlfriend expected her boyfriend to keep them private at the time they were made. She gave consent for them to be taken on the grounds that they were a couple, and now they are not together the consent is withdrawn.

    It would be bizarre for it to be any other way. In public no consent is required. Being a wanker in private would be protected though, unless there was a public interest argument. It isn't clear why anyone would consent to that in the first place though.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eibo (1205340) <eibo@plusgut.de> on Saturday May 24, 2014 @07:09PM (#47085045)
    Have you considered that maybe your view of relationships might not be universal? There are many people who will value a relationship highly even after it ends, everything you say seems to be negative. If a person dwells on a mental image of an ex it apparently has been a time well spent with this person. It would be a terrible world indeed where we would stop remembering the good times we had together with some loved one.
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lost Race (681080) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @07:23PM (#47085083)

    Wow, that's ten tons of crazy piled into a half-ton pickup.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Your inability to imagine something is not proof of its non-existence; it's only proof of your limited imagination.

    As far as the case in Germany goes... It sort of makes sense to prohibit someone from publishing compromising photos of their ex, but requiring that certain photos be deleted is impractical, unreasonable, unenforceable, and just plain dumb. Are they also going to demand that he forgets what she looked like naked? As long as he keeps the photo to himself, what's the difference between that and a memory? Nothing.

    Keeping a photo as a reminder of a pleasant experience in your past is by no means crazy or immoral. That's exactly what photo albums are for, and why everybody keeps them! Just because you have a picture of someone (naked or otherwise) doesn't mean you obsess or masturbate to it. My shoebox of old travel photos (including various ex-girlfriends) just sits in the closet until I get nostalgic once every year or five and have a look through it. No obsession, no masturbation, no reputations smeared.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday May 24, 2014 @07:45PM (#47085169)

    The only possible reasons to keep adult photo's after a relationship ends are unethical and immoral. Either the person wants to use them for revenge/smear purposes, or they are unable to cope with the termination of the relationship and need something to cling on to, or perhaps they have a porn collection that they want to supplement with an old girlfriend for masturbatory purposes. In all cases, that is unacceptable behavior and symptomatic of numerous possible mental disorders.

    So says you. Seems you failed philosophy 101. I think all that's healthy as fuck, and part of the human experience. Who the fuck are you to tell me what I can and can't do in the privacy of my own home?

    If a person dwells on a mental image of an ex, we would consider them sociopaths and dangerous.

    You're right of your fucking rocker, mate. You're assuming a fuck-load of intent based on zero action. Get bent, you fool.

    If they went around telling people what their ex looked like naked, we would think the same.

    Are you even aware that you're trying to label every guy or girl who has ever pined for lost love or hung out with their friends "sociopaths" and "dangerous".

    Why is a physical picture different than a mental picture? That's a rhetorical question, and the answer is [I'm a fucking idiot, and I don't know anything about reality so I ask stupid questions and make huge logical leaps]"

    The physical picture isn't much different than a mental picture except I remember damn near everything that's ever happened to me all the way back to around my 3rd birthday, so my memories have proven more permanent than lots of photos, many of which burned in a house fire destroying family albums, along with some photos of deceased friends who passed away along with my girlfriend.

    Fuck you for saying the few pics of them I still have left are signs of sociopathic or derangement. You may consider memory loss healthy, but I consider it a malfunction. Practice what you preach, idiot:

    To claim that a relationship is wrong, or that two consenting adults planning a long term relationship can't do things in the bedroom is social retardation at it's finest.

    To claim that being single is wrong, or that a consenting adult who's not harming anyone in private can't do things in their bedroom is the gourmet batshit Orwellian insanity. I'm glad I'm not a German and don't live in the EU (where they've enacted the Memory Hole law) so I don't have bend over and take the police state right up the place where you should go fuck yourself.

    You might be an idiot who gave your ex some nudes and regretted it, so you like this ruling. However what you don't realize is this is just inching you long towards a bad place you don't want to be. Hey, have you seen what we can do with cybernetics and neurology now? FALSE MEMORIES. Yep. We can also identify where a memory is in the brain too, we can ERASE MEMORIES. How would you folks to leverage their right to be forgotten inside your skull? Oh you'd love it, I'm sure you're just wetting yourself thinking of all the fun you can have doing this to folks you now hate. See, you're the one that's not demonstrating the ability to empathize with normal human behavior. YOU'RE THE PSYCHO.

    Eventually you'll get enough laws in place that you can't function without breaking them. It'll be no big deal at first because selective enforcement only holds the "really bad" offenders to the rules. You know, the folks who do this shit to celebrities and officials. Then one day you'll realize that these laws aren't being applied equally. Then you'll realize the definition of what's acceptable has changed and so have the penalties when you weren't looking. Then you'll say or do something some pompous powerful plutocrat doesn't like, and you'll be taking your turn in the slammer. Enjoy your distended anus in the police state priso

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @07:51PM (#47085205)

    I don't think "unethical," "immoral," "sociopath or " "psychopath" mean what you think they mean.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @08:13PM (#47085297)

    the images should be the property of those in them.

    Except that's completely not the way photographic copyright law works - even in Germany, AFAIK.

    And why is a camera "a toy"? Cameras a a tool, and pretty much no one argues that the photos can be art.

    What if the subject posed for a nude painting (from a good enough artist that it was accurate/near photo-realistic)? Would she have a right to have it destroyed because she changed her mind?

    They did not enter into a contract, verbal or otherwise, that they give up the rights to their likeness.

    A contract is SO not required, and totally irrelevant to the discussion. The court ruled it only applied to nude photos, not clothed, so it has nothing to do with right to likeness, etc.

    Basically it was a bizarre ruling (hence all of the press about it) - just the court trying to "do the right thing." Which is noble, but probably not legal. Then again, it's Germany, who know how it will turn out. No way the same thing would ever happen in the US, as there was implicit consent to the pictures and freedom of expression concerns wouldn't allow someone to just "retract" their consent to a work of art from a legal sense...

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @08:25PM (#47085355)

    Wow, you must have had some screwed up relationships. What, you have never had a relationship end in a way that you didn't despise the mental image of your ex? Even relationships that don't work out can be positive life experiences, with many memories that don't have to be shameful, or whatever you think they are (even the "private" ones).

    And seriously, if you think looking at porn and masturbation indicate "mental disorders", you just might be the one with the disorder (not the clear majority of the population that has done it).

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:01PM (#47085465)

    If you are a person that has to sit and look at naked photos of the ex to "remember the good times" you either had a relationship that was not really a relationship but a string of sexual encounters, or you are mentally ill. I don't mean that as accusatory, but if the shoe fits...

    If you want to call out the exception as the normal, at least try and make it a valid exception. Nothing you said makes my statements wrong, you appear to be trying to nitpick to convince yourself that keeping naked photo's of an ex is an okay thing to do.

    Yeah, how dare they think about things that you don't want them to think about, and enjoy things you think are 'creepy'. Shame on them. They must be mentally ill, or their relationship wasn't a good one.

    It's pretty damn easy to make statements about how things are immoral and indicate a mental illness (Who doesn't have a mental illness nowadays? Psychology is such pseudoscience that tons of people have them.) and such. Anyone can do it about anything.

    While reading your post, I found myself thinking things like, "And that's bad because...? It's wrong because you say so?"

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eibo (1205340) <eibo@plusgut.de> on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:02PM (#47085469)

    There are many people who will value a relationship highly even after it ends, everything you say seems to be negative.

    I used a normal generalization where a person would want to keep naked pictures of their ex. If the relationship remains friends after a breakup, it's an exception not the normal. In which case, part of the friendship would entail deleting old naked photo's of the ex out of respect don't you think?

    No. Deleting those pictures would be part of trying to get rid of that person. It would be like burning love letters. If you respect a person you should never do that. In addition, I don't think it is a normal generalization but your personal view.

    It would be a terrible world indeed where we would stop remembering the good times we had together with some loved one.

    If you are a person that has to sit and look at naked photos of the ex to "remember the good times" you either had a relationship that was not really a relationship but a string of sexual encounters, or you are mentally ill. I don't mean that as accusatory, but if the shoe fits...

    What makes you denigrate sexual encounters in this way? Speaking only of my own experience I can say that sexuality has always been quite a beautiful part of my contacts with other people. Besides, I did not say that I need those pictures to remember, but I would concur that pictures help to remember, perhaps that is one of the reasons people take pictures in the first place. Furthermore, it is no insult to be mentally ill, try harder. :)

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:09PM (#47085489)

    There isn't any thing that can considered respectful about holding onto those images when asked for them.

    It works both ways. There isn't any thing that can be considered respectful about expecting another person to get rid of images that they value stored on their own private property.

    What's even less respectful is getting government thugs involved in the whole thing, and forcing the deletion of the images.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoeMerchant (803320) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:14PM (#47085509)

    But people get off on unenforceable judgements. The real force of the judgement is that if the photos ever become public after the ruling, then the photographer can be found in contempt - which is a whole other golden opportunity for the ex to leak the photos and make additional hell for the guy....

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:05PM (#47085635) Homepage Journal

    Distributing them, for any reason, beyond the bounds of the relationship without permission is one thing. Contracts, informed consent, etc. Obvious.

    Simply keeping them is quite another.

  • by celle (906675) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @12:59PM (#47088165)

    "...then later withdraw that consent and file rape charges against your partner."

          Haven't you noticed, this is exactly what's been going on the last few years.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    Ah, you think women are minor to men and that guy has the right to do what ever he wants with HER PICTURES?

    Ah, you think that men are minor to women and that girl has the right to do whatever she wants with HIS MONEY?

    (That's how maintenance works - she doesn't have to prove that she's spending it on the kid)

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    The topic is about photos, not about payments for kids. If you don't want to pay for kids after a divorce: don't father any. It is that simple.

    If you don't want someone holding nudie pics of yourself: don't give them any. It is that simple.

    See? The issue of personal responsibility goes both ways.

How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb? Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?

Working...