Hungary’s law on photography

Click to download the full Civil Code in English!

Click the image to download the full Civil Code in English!

Until I have the time to write a more detailed post on Hungary’s new “photography law“, I post the plain text of the law to be accessible in English.

There has been much debate on the new regulations in Hungary concerning photography. I’m working on a more complete post on how to understand and use this regulation (I already published it on my Hungarian blog, but foreigners may need a different approach and maybe a different wording too.
Until I can complete my post on this, you find the key sections of the civil code affecting photography in English below and I published a press release of the ministry yesterday to help a better understanding of the legal text. It is the official translation of the law provided by Hungary’s Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.

I don’t know if the complete Hungarian civil code is available in English anywhere else online or not, so I uploaded it to my blog for download. Foreigners living or doing business in Hungary may find it useful in other aspects as well, not just related to photography regulations.

Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code

Section 1:1 [Scope]
This Act governs the property and personal relations of persons under the principle of interdependence and the principle of equality.

Section 1:2 [Interpretative principle]
(1) The provisions of this Act shall be interpreted in accordance with the constitutional order of Hungary.
(2) The legislation relating to civil law shall be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Section 1:5 [Prohibition of abuse of rights]
(1) Abuse of rights is prohibited by law.

(2) Where the abuse of a right is manifested in the repudiation of a statement required by law and this conduct does injury to an overriding public interest or a private interest in cases of exceptional circumstances, the court is entitled to substitute its judgment for the party’s legal statement, provided there is no other way of averting the injury.

Section 1:6 [Judicial process]
Unless otherwise provided for by law, the rights afforded in this Act may be enforced by way of judicial process.

Section 2:43 [Specific personality rights]
The following, in particular, shall be construed as violation of personality rights:

g) any breach of the right to facial likeness and recorded voice.

Section 2:48 [Right to facial likeness and recorded voice]
(1) The consent of the person affected shall be required for producing or using his/her likeness or recorded voice.

(2) The consent of the relevant person is not required for recording his/her likeness or voice, and for the use of such recording if made of a crowd or in a public event.

Section 2:51 [Sanctions independent of attributability]
(1) A person whose personality rights have been violated shall have the right to demand within the term of limitation – based on the infringement – as appropriate by reference to the circumstances of the case:
a) a court ruling establishing that there has been an infringement of rights;
b) to have the infringement discontinued and the perpetrator restrained from further infringement;
c) that the perpetrator make appropriate restitution and that the perpetrator make an appropriate public disclosure for restitution at his own expense;
d) the termination of the injurious situation and the restoration of the previous state, and to have the effects of the infringement nullified or deprived of their unlawful nature;
e) that the perpetrator or his successor surrender the financial advantage acquired by the infringement according to the principle of unjust enrichment.
(2) Where any violation of personality rights is committed by a person in an official capacity within administrative authority, the sanctions referred to in Subsection (1) shall be imposed upon the legal entity exercising State authority. If the person exercising State authority is not a legal entity, the sanctions shall be imposed upon the administrative body having legal personality, on whose behalf the relevant administrative body operates.
(3) Where any violation of personality rights is committed by a person in an official capacity within the jurisdiction of a court or public prosecutor, the sanctions referred to in Subsection (1) shall be imposed upon the court or the Prosecutor General, as appropriate. If the acting court is not a legal entity, the claim shall be enforced against the court whose president exercises overall employer’s rights over the judges of the court having no legal personality.

Section 2:52 [Restitution]
(1) Any person whose rights relating to personality had been violated shall be entitled to restitution for any non-material violation suffered.

(2) As regards the conditions for the obligation of payment of restitution – such as the definition of the person liable for the restitution payable and the cases of exemptions – the rules on liability for damages shall apply, with the proviso that apart from the fact of the infringement no other harm has to be verified for entitlement to restitution.
(3) The court shall determine the amount of restitution in one sum, taking into account the gravity of the infringement, whether it was committed on one or more occasions, the degree of responsibility, the impact of the infringement upon the aggrieved party and his environment. 

Section 2:53 [Liability for damages]
Any person who suffers any damage from the violation of his personality rights shall have the right to demand compensation from the infringer in accordance with the provisions on liability for damages resulting from unlawful actions.

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