As ReadWriteWeb reports a regional court in Germany ruled that Google is violating German copyright law by displaying thumbnail previews of copyrighted images. From the piece:
German photographer Michael Bernhard and cartoonist Thomas Horn had sued the Google and demanded that their images be removed from Google's index. According to the judge at Hamburg's regional court, "no new work is created" by displaying thumbnails.
Google, of course, has no way of discerning whether an image in its index is copyrighted or not. Based on this decision, we would not be surprised if Google decided to block image search for German users. However, we also assume that Google will try to appeal this decision.
Ah ze Germans… Ten years after Google they still haven't figured out the Internet: A conscious decision to prevent people from accesing valuable information about one's visual work, hampering any form of self-promotion that would somehow resemble 21st century practices; all this backed by an unwordly, anti-business court whose ruling could potentially throw the Fatherland back into ze digital stoneage. And you thought having to pay for newspaper articles on the web was a bad idea…
-Jens (Thanks for the link Malte!)