German Court Rules It Illegal to Possess Nude Photos of Your Ex

Dec 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

German Court Rules It Illegal to Possess Nude Photos of Your Ex

Dec 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Intimate

It’s no secret that many couples these days capture intimate photos during their relationship, but what should happen with those photos once the couple breaks up?

In a decision that could criminalize millions of men (and some women), a German judge ruled that a man must delete nude photos of his ex-girlfriend.

According to the ruling, the ex-boyfriend, a photographer, no longer has the right to possess nude photos or videos or the woman as her consent expired when the relationship came apart.

It’s important to note that the man did not intend to share the photos a la ‘revenge porn’, but the ruling could have a major impact on preventing such cases.

The Federal court said that although the woman originally agreed to have the photos taken by her photographer boyfriend, her consent stopped was only valid for the duration of the relationship. For this reason, the judge said the man should not possess the materials despite the fact that he was not interested in sharing them with others.

Germany is very strict when it comes to privacy laws, says the BBC, and this case is a good example.

According to the British broadcaster, Germany’s highest court stated that “everyone had the right to decide whether to grant insight into their sex life – including to whom they grant permission and in what form” and that keeping the photos gave the man “manipulative power” over the woman.

As per the ruling unless the photographed party gives its consent for the photos to be used even after the relationship ends, the photographs should be deleted if/when that time arrive.

While this case is not directly related to revenge porn, it could make life a lot easier for many female victims.

Several countries have banned the sharing of intimate photos of ex-partners, but in others there’s fairly little prosecutors can do to fight the phenomenon. Many photos are taken down following copyright claims, since they are selfies and as such the photographed person also owns the copyright, but there’s not much that can be done when it comes to photos taken by another person.

The new ruling, however, claims that an ex-partner should not be allowed to even possess such materials and as such there will be no abuse of said materials.

It is unclear how the ruling will be enforced in either of these instances.

[via BBC | Lead image by: Sam Davis]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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7 responses to “German Court Rules It Illegal to Possess Nude Photos of Your Ex”

  1. Jason Artiga Avatar
    Jason Artiga

    I deleted most of mines , the rest I made them sign waivers

  2. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    If you trust guy/girl, to take nudes of you, without any contract, that prohibits him/her, from posting mentioned photos – you are taking a risk.

    It is called trust and sometimes it can bite in the ass.

  3. Kyle Edwards Avatar
    Kyle Edwards

    I agree with no distribution but possession may be a slippery slope. If verbal consent can be rescinded, what about written?

  4. Steve Durbin Avatar
    Steve Durbin

    Makes perfect sense for photos taken as part of a relationship, but what about if partner was modelling for you as part of professional output and signed a model release? Seems to me that has to be different.

    1. Tim Boura Avatar
      Tim Boura

      The article answers that “unless the photographed party gives its consent for the photos to be used even after the relationship ends” a signed model release would be consent.

  5. Tom Bingham Avatar
    Tom Bingham

    Way faring the law…
    I don’t agree with a courts entertaining and wandering into a hyper suppositional stretch that exceeds needlessly its own current and sufficient laws. It’s an unnecessary burden upon the originating case(s) and those to follow. Going beyond the courts original and primary task.

    In the original case the court is simply executing a divorce. Yet council has a suppositional argument accepted to further drag through the system of justice…and has the court debating and indeed finding
    insufficiency with established law. But Why?

    True, the proprietary rights
    of either party must be preserved, but only to the extent that the court does Not
    trample on the rights of either
    party. In the example it seems the court has way fared into needless addition, burdening the public by entertaining a councils Charges of Suppositionals, “what ifs”.

    In sticking to real property and tangible assets, and discovery
    to fairly address both parties, the court – unless otherwise
    apprised to “Credible evidence
    of illegal or Real threat” by the other party, the court really need never to entertain such Suppositional charges, claiming need of yet More protection.

    Such assertions by council should swiftly have been deemed invalid. The Divorce proceeding is an unfortunate one to use for an example here. But that said, no party holds the right to fester the courts time with unfounded suppositional superiority claims of inclusive to rewrite laws already established.

    It would seem to me that we’ve witnessed in this news article the Federal German Court allowing and adjudicating suppositionals. An act by the court that burdens needlessly a line that need not be crossed.

    Laws clearly cover property rights / privacy i.e. the (photos) in this instance. The photographer married or not
    Never has the right to sell, distribute, privately or publicly
    without consent or permission.
    The photographer may retain
    the works or photos if no other prior agreement contractually was made, but may Never has a right to violate the rights privacy of another. The court
    would appear to believe that these laws are not sufficient.

    At best, the Court ought to administer a reassertion of
    existing laws in writing as part of the divorce case if council for the party is concerned. Rather than the court burdening its exsistance and purpose
    endlessly.

  6. CraigI Avatar
    CraigI

    If there’s a legal Agreement in place — signed — the photos stay. Otherwise, don’t be a creep and delete them if s/he wants them deleted. I’m guessing 99% of those voting “no” above are men…