Retweeting pics can get you in legal trouble in Japan.

  • The High Court of Japan has issued an order for Twitter to surrender the details of three users of the platform.
  • This comes after a photographer brought the case of his photo being posted without his consent on Twitter and the platform’s algorithm cropping out his name from the retweets.
  • Twitter has not commented on the situation.

When you’re an avid user of Twitter and you’re in Japan, then you might just come across some legal trouble retweeting pictures.

The Supreme Court of Japan had ruled out that retweeting copyright-infringing images will have their details passed onto the right holders-whether they knew the pics are in violation or not.

In a court ruling yesterday, the court had ordered Twitter to surrender the email addresses of three users who allegedly posted and retweeted a copyright-infringing image on the social media platform.

This ruling dates back to 2014 when a photographer came across one of his photos being posted on Twitter without his consent.

Moreover, the retweeting of his picture cropped out his name as a result of Twitter’s own algorithm.

So, he decided to take the matter to the court with the intentions of finding out the identities of not only the original poster but also of the retweeters.

 The Tokyo District Court concluded the original poster clearly violated the rights of the photographer, but ultimately dismissed the claims against retweeters. But the photographer was not satisfied with the results and took the case to the Hight Court.

The High court did agree with the statement of the district court but it also stated that there was violation of the photographer’s moral rights since his name was after all cropped out.

Therefore, the High Court issued an order for Twitter to divulge the details of both the original poster as well as the retweeters. In response, Twitter appealed the decision stating that the users had no control over the cropping mechanism.

But the argument was not considered valid.

The court ruling puts 45 million residents of Japan in a serious risk of falling into legal troubles for innocuously reposting images.

Twitter has as of yet not given any comment on the situation.

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