The Berlin regional court has fined Facebook 100,000 euros (approx. Rs. 74 lacs) for refusing to follow an order. The court order had directed Facebook to adequately inform users about how their intellectual property was being used. The court ruled that the company did not satisfactorily change the wording of a clause on intellectual property in its terms and conditions after a complaint had been filed by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV). Klaus Mueller, head of VZBV, said in a statement, “Facebook is persistently trying to evade consumer laws in Germany and Europe. Companies must implement judicial decisions and can’t simply sit them out.”
A spokesperson for Facebook said, “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.” Back in 2012, a German court had ruled that Facebook’s terms and conditions did not make clear the extent to which the users’ intellectual property could be used by Facebook and licensed to third parties. The Berlin regional court said that while the company had changed the wording of the clause, the key message remained the same as the older version.