Publication of children's photos requires consent of both parents

In its decision of 20.7.2021, UF 74/21, the OLG Düsseldorf ruled that photos of children may only be published on social media with the consent of both parents.

Photo publication on Facebook and Instagram

The children's parents live separately, but are not legally divorced. The father's new partner posted photos of the daughters on Facebook and Instagram. The children were born in 2010 and live with the mother. However, the father has regular contact with the children.

Only the father agreed to the dissemination of the photos

The father agreed to the dissemination of the photos by his new partner. The mother, on the other hand, only found out about the dissemination of the photos later. She demanded that the photos be deleted and that the father's partner refrain from disseminating the photos in the future. The mother demanded that the father agree to the deletion of the photos and to the omission of the publication of the photos by his partner. The father of the child, however, refused to do so. The mother appealed against this before the Düsseldorf Local Court. The court decided that the mother was entitled to custody of the extrajudicial and judicial matter.

Publication of children's pictures has substantial meaning according to § 1628 BGB

The photos of the children had been published without permission. There was a violation of § 22 of the Art Copyright Act. This was a matter of substantial importance pursuant to § 1628 of the Civil Code. The father of the child appealed against this decision to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. The father justified his complaint by saying that his partner could not wait until the children were 18 years old before posting more photos on Instagram and Facebook. This is out of touch with life. Moreover, the mother's true aim was to wage a small-scale war against him on the backs of the children.

Publication of child photos without consent of both parents violates child's best interests

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court rejected the father's complaint as unfounded. The public sharing of the pictures on Facebook and Instagram had a considerable impact on the children's development. The dissemination of the photos in social media significantly violated the children's privacy and their personal rights. In particular, the mother's consent to the publication of the photos pursuant to § 22 of the Art Copyright Act and Art. 6 para. 1 subpara. 1 lit. a) DSGVO was lacking. The dissemination of the children's photos without the mother's consent was unlawful. A violation of the best interests of the child was therefore to be assumed. There was therefore a matter of substantial importance under § 1628 of the Civil Code. The Local Court had therefore rightly transferred custody of this matter to the mother.

The decision is final.

Source: OLG Düsseldorf decision of 20.7.2021 - 1UF 74/21, BeckRS 2021, 22062

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GoldbergUllrich Lawyers 2021

Attorney at Law Christopher Pillat, LL.M. (Intellectual Property Law)