The court fined Facebook $109,000 a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visited Berlin to collect the first ever Axel Springer Award for entrepreneurship and something people call innovation.
However, four years ago, a German court found that Facebook’s terms and conditions did not address the circumstances in which users’ intellectual property could be used by Facebook or even licensed to third parties.
The regional court in Berlin ruled today that while Facebook did change the wording of the statement on intellectual property in their terms and conditions, the message remained the same.
Facebook, however, said that the problem was with the timing. “We complied with the order to clarify a single provision in our terms concerning an IP license a while ago. The court felt we did not update our terms quickly enough and has issued a fine, which we will pay.”
However, the court’s ruling stated that the problem was not with the speed by which the clause was updated, but with the fact that the key message was never changed.
This is just one in a string of legal problems for Facebook in Germany and throughout Europe. They have been under fire for their use of facial recognition technology, which prompts users to ‘tag’ people in their photos.
In 2012, the District Court of Berlin ruled that Facebook violated user rights with its FriendFinder function, a decision which was upheld in a lower court in 2014, and again on January 15 of this year.
Facebook is also in trouble with the French authorities for suspending the account of a teacher who posted a famous nude painting.
The Austrian Supreme Court will also hear if a privacy lawsuit initiated by Viennese lawyer Max Schrems in 2014 should be treated as a class action.