What do I have to bear in mind when it comes to licensing?


Works of art, literature or science are generally subject to the copyright in Germany; i.e. a painting, a poetic text, an invention or a photo. The originator has several rights which are regulated in the so called copyright.

So the photographer can decide, for instance, if his photos can be used only by himself or by others. Moreover, he decides whether he wants to be named as the originator of his picture or whether the picture can be edited or used for commercial purposed.

What does that mean for own pictures?

Normally, for you nothing changes and you can upload your pictures as usual. When you upload a picture the standard setting is “no license indications”, i.e. no one else is allowed to use your picture.

What do you have to bear in mind when using a picture of a different photographer?

The photographer has to approve the use of his photos in the platform with all its output channels.  He has to be named in the text box “author” as long as he doesn’t waive or forbid credit.

What do you have to bear in mind when using a photo with a Creative-Commons license?

Pictures originating from a free data base, such as commons.wikipedia.org can normally be used if the respective license terms are observed. The photographer and the license under which the picture has been published have to be stated.

Here is an overview over the most common licenses:

  • All rights reserved: The picture is not to be used
  • Creative Commons: The picture may be used under certain circumstances that can vary on a case-to-case basis. The addition is crucial for that, such as BY-SA, CC-NC, which regulates the license and the rights resulting from that.
  • On our portal all licenses can be stated, except CC BY-NC, CC BY-NC-SA and CC BY-NC-ND.
  • In the public domain: The picture is subject to no license terms (anymore) and can be used.

What am I not allowed to do?

You are not allowed to:

  • Use a picture that is not free to use
  • Violate the terms under which a picture is used, i.e.:
    o not to state the name or the license,
    o edit a picture without approval, or
    o use it for commercial purposes.

If you violate the copyright…

it will be a costly affair. Copyright violations are expensive (up to several thousand euros) and can easily be averted with CC licences. Please note: You are responsible for every picture that you upload, not we as operator of the platform. This is why you personally will have to pay in cases like this.

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