Uploads and downloads

Both uploading and downloading content such as texts, images or music are acts relevant to copyright. The consent of the rights owner or legal authorisation is always required.


Downloading or streaming works for private use is allowed by law. This is also true for downloading from illegal sources. Although this is not explicitly stated in the law, it appears to be undisputed nowadays. On the other hand, uploading works for private use is not allowed by law. This is also the case if you publish the works on a personal website, for example on your Facebook page or if you use file sharing networks. It does not matter whether the intention of the use is to make a profit or not.


You are permitted to put works online that you have the rights to or which are no longer protected by copyright. Therefore, your friend can film themselves performing the Raindrop Prelude on the piano and then upload the video onto YouTube or Facebook. This piece of music is public domain because the copyright protection has expired.


On the internet, always be aware of personality rights – for example, you are allowed, with the rights owner’s permission, to upload videos or photos that show only you to social networks. However, if your friends are also in the photo, you should request the permission of the persons depicted. The persons depicted can prohibit you from publishing in order to protect their privacy.