Paintings from Photographs: A Copyright Conundrum

  • Richard Arnold


There has been a series of decisions of national courts in Europe concerning claims of infringement of copyright in photographs by paintings based on those photographs. These cases have had a diversity of outcomes. In part, this is due to a failure by national courts in recent cases properly to apply the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union. More fundamentally, it reflects a lack of agreement as to what the copyright in a photograph is supposed to protect. This article proposes a solution to the problem through a careful application of the principles laid down by the CJEU.


European copyright law Paintings based on photographs Originality of photographs Scope of protection Infringement 



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© Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Arnold
    • 1
  1. 1.Judge of the High Court of England and WalesLondonUK

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