This is the question at hand as charges are being pressed against the publisher for copyright infringement.
Because Frogster is using smileys on one of their bulletin boards that are copyright protected from being used by third parties. This was noticed by an unknown internet user who even called Frogster’s attention to it, according to his own statement. A criminal complaint by the graphic artists could now be in order.
“The internet is not a legal vacuum.”
According to Axel Schmidt, chief executive for public relations at Frogster, during an interview on the lawsuit against elitepvpers.com.
But if Frogster is indeed taking law seriously, how comes they seem to be involved in a copyright infringement?
The supposedly ripped smileys are said to be available on the Runes of Magic board since 2009, though Devianart.com explicitly prohibited their usage.
Dr. Hans M. Wulf, an attorney from Hamburg who specializes in IT law, assesses indemnification claims in copyright law regarding pictures as follows:
“If pictures were taken from a third party’s website, recourse on picture fees can be carried out according to ‘Mittelstandsgemeinschaft Foto-Marketing (MFM)’. The latter rates the appropriate fee for providing a digital photo in order to be included it in a website with 130.00€ per month. So if a photo is taken from an external website for one’s own website without the copyright owner’s approval, the damage for a usage over 4 months amounts to 520.00€.
The general circumstances of the law violation must be taken to account when estimating the damage. To begin with, the period of use is relevant. […]
If the unauthorizedly copied work has been accessed a considerable amount of times on the website, damage compensation might be correspondingly higher. It is assumed that – beside the mere number of pirated smileys – the extremely long period of use and the high number of daily visitors will definitely affect the amount of the claims.”
“They deserve it”, according to the person who is pressing the charges. When he first called Frogster’s attention to the matter, he was ignored and after that, he was told by Frogster’s support that they weren’t responsible for it, though it probably wouldn’t have been too difficult passing on the complaint internally.
Doesn’t Frogster feel any remorse? However, screenshots proof that the pirated emoticons can be used on the publisher’s board to this day.
Source: Frogster: Bald vor Gericht? by Awi'