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Tort Law — Personality and Privacy Rights

Date Citation Note
05.12.2006 BGH VI ZR 45/05
26.10.2006 I ZR 182/04
13.06.2006 BVerfG 1 BvR 565/06
14.02.2005 BVerfG 1 BvR 240/04
09.12.2003 BGH VI ZR 373/02 Invasion of privacy by publication of aerial photographs of holiday home with claimant's name justified by press freedom as claimant was well known public figure and had already publicised information about it.
Publication of directions for finding property not justified; action against person supplying information to magazine thus possible.
09.12.2003 BGH VI ZR 38/03 Interrogative sentences (or parts of them), which are not designed to induce an answer with a content which is not yet established, are in fact statements amounting either to value judgements or assertions of fact. Legally, they must be treated as such. A claim for correction is thus successful.
§§ 823, 1004 BGB
11.07.2002 BGH 1 ZR 285/99 Dispute about the reproduction of a press photo from the newspaper "Bild" in the magazine "Focus"
09.10.2000 BVerfG NJW-RR 2001, 411 I. Senate, 1. Kammer (1 BvR 1839/95) Accusation of involvement in collusion regarding a merger agreement
Value judgement, not statement of fact or abuse
Freedom of expression of opinion prevailed, especially for shareholders
Art. 2 I, 1 I, 5 I + II, 103 I GG
§ 93 a II BVerfGG
§§ 823, 1004 BGB
§ 186 StGB
01.12.1999 BGHZ 143, 214 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 49/97)

Financially valuable components of the right of personality extend beyond the death of the deceased
Infringements are actionable by the heirs
12, 823 I, 847 BGB
308, 559 I ZPO
22 KunstUrhG
Art. 1, 2, 5 GG

29.06.1999 BGH NJW 1999, 2893 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 264/98) Publication of the reasons for a divorce (celebrity figure)
Extent of privacy rights
Weighing of (competing) basic rights: general right of personality, freedom of speech and freedom of the press
Case note
Art. 1, 2, 5 GG
§§ 823, 1004 BGB
13.10.1998 BGH NJW 1999, 279 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 357/97) Statement affecting the business or credit of others (whether/when actionable)
§ 823 BGB
02.04.1998 BGHZ 138, 257 III. Civil Senate (III ZR 245/96) Liability of auditors for incorrect information (scope and extent)
§ 328 BGB
§§ 316 ff., 323 HGB
19.12.1995 BGHZ 131, 332 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 15/95) Paparazzi -decision Caroline von Monaco case Paparazzi photographs as infringements of personality rights
Absolute person of contemporary history
Art. 2, 5 GG
§§ 22, 23 KunstUrhG
12.12.1995 BGH NJW 1996, 985 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 223/94) Claim by son of absolute person of contemporary history of right in respect of photos taken in everyday situations under § 823 I BGB, § 22 KUG and Art. 1 and 2 GG
Repeated and obstinate violation of right to his image and personality right and profit motive justified compensation
Need for prevention relevant
No justified public interest in information about claimant
§ 823 I GG
§ 22 KUG
Art. 1, 2 GG
05.12.1995 BGH NJW 1996, 984 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 332/94) Claim for serious violation of the right of personality under § 823 I BGB and Art. 1 and 2 GG
False impression given that claimant was ill
Profit motive
Concept of prevention rather than settlement and satisfaction applied in measuring compensation
§ 823 I BGB
Art. 1, 2 GG
15.11.1994 BGHZ 128, 1 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 56/94) Caroline von Monaco -decision False press statements
Possible liability
Case note
Art. 1 I, 2 I, 5 I GG
§§ 823, 1004 BGB
12.10.1993 BGH NJW 1994, 124 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 23/93) Satirical posters by Greenpeace giving the names, pictures and telephone numbers of chairmen of companies producing substances which depleted ozone layer (matter of public debate in which company management had already taken part)
Right of freedom of expression prevailed over personality right of chairman
Art. 1 I, 2 I, 5 I GG
§§ 823, 1004 I BGB
§§ 22, 23 KunstUrhG
02.06.1987 OLG Köln NJW 1987, 2682
XV. Civil Senate
(15 U 39/87)


Subsequent developments
Art. 5 I, II GG
Art. 6 II MRK
¿¿¿¿ 823, I, II BGB
¿¿¿¿ 186, 193 StGB
21.05.1987 OLG Hamburg NJW-RR 1988, 737 Claim for damages resulting from the publication of misleading headline in a newspaper
Case note
13.01.1983 OLG Oldenburg 6 U 107/82 A grave invasion of a human being's right of personality may require the granting of monetary compensation for non-pecuniary loss
§§ 823, 847 (old) BGB
09.12.1982 OLG Stuttgart 4 U 84/82 Every consent is a declaration of will that needs to be received
§§ 823, 830, 840 BGB; § 23 KUG; § 51 UrhG
19.12.1978 BGHZ 73, 120 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 137/77) Tapping of a telephone conversation between politicians
Extent of protection afforded by privacy
Case note
Art. 5 I GG
§ 823 BGB
19.09.1961 BGHZ 35, 365, 369 ff. VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 259/60) Ginsengwurzel -decision =NJW 1961, 2059 See NJW 1962, 736 for an approving note by Rötelmann and VersR 1962, 350, 562 for a approving note by Hubmann Violation of general right of personality
Claimant law professor imported ginseng for fellow academic's research; defendant advertised its ginseng product mentioning its aphrodisiac qualities and claimant's view on its value
Attack on personality right under § 823
Adequate compensation for non-material damage required by values in Constitution
No equivalence with physical harm as harder to measure
Satisfaction appropriate because of seriousness of attack and fault
Art. 1, 2 GG
§§ 253, 823, 847 BGB
14.02.1958 BGHZ 26, 349 I. Civil Senate (I ZR 151/56) Herrenreiter -decision = NJW 58, 827 Appropriation of image
Claim for damages
Case note
Art. 1, 2 GG
§ 847 BGB
§ 22 KunstUrhG
25.05.1954 BGHZ 13, 334 I. Civil Senate (I ZR 211/53) Leserbrief/Schacht -decision = NJW 1954, 1404 = JZ 1954, 698 Misleading information in journal
Remedies for the violation of personality rights
Case note
Art. 1, 2 GG
§ 823 I BGB