Princess Caroline in Bismarck’s Shadow: Photographs of Public Figures in German Law
Posted: 15 Oct 2020
Date Written: 2001
The year was 1898. As the body of Prince Otto von Bismarck, the founder of the modern German state, lay on his deathbed, two enterprising practitioners of the then newly improved art of photography made their way into his room and took a snapshot of the corpse. The children of Prince Otto later sued to enjoin publication of the photograph, and to require destruction of the photograph, all copies, and the plate. The court issued the injunction as prayed, reasoning that it would be unjust to allow the photographers to profit from their illegal entry (condictio ob injustam causam).
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