Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court), 4 Ob 140/14p, October 21, 2014

Document type
Court Decision
(1) The defendant maintains an Internet media website where users can upload content if they have an account and are logged in. The general terms and conditions of the website only allow  content which does not infringe upon the rights of its authors. The claimant holds the rights to certain photographs which users uploaded to the defendant's website. The right holder sued the defendant for publishing the photographs without consent.
(2) The Court ruled that a hosting provider can be sued for injunctive relief only after the claimant has informed him of the infringement. However, this prerequisite is not of formal, but of material character. Therefore, the claimant can bring action against the hosting provider but he will not succeed. The cease and desist letter has to contain specific information about the infringement and provide enough evidence of the existence of the copyright. In this case the right holder only sent an invoice, which the Court deemed insufficient.
(3) However, if the claimant provides enough evidence of his copyright and specific information about the infringement during the proceedings, the hosting provider cannot continue to plead lack of knowledge about the infringement.
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Highest Domestic/National (including State) Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
Notice Formalities
Type of law
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Knowledge (Includes Notice and Takedown)