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Court: Social Network Users Retain Property Rights

PRIVACY LAW—GERMANY

March 7, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reports that a German court has ruled against Facebook in a 2010 case sparked by concerns over the social network's use of members' e-mail addresses to solicit new users. "Facebook can't force users to grant the social network a comprehensive license to their content," the report states, noting the court found "users remain the owners of intellectual-property rights of their Facebook posts, pictures and other content posted on the site." A Facebook spokeswoman said, "We will take a close look into the details of today's court decision as soon as they are available and then decide on the next steps," adding that the social network "is committed to adhering to European data protection principles." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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