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April 7, 2005
Under the depressing headline "GERMAN CT. RULES COPYRIGHT TRUMPS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS" Michael Geist notes a report by heise online on its first-round court defeat.
As I mentioned at the beginning of March, the site heise.de was sued over an article that contained a link to a site. The targeted site provided information and (two clicks later) downloads for software that allows consumers to copy DVDs. The Munich court found that heise had deliberately violated German copyright law by providing assistance - essentially contributory copyright infringement.
In a small glimmer of hope, the court did find that it was not permissible to block publication of the article entirely, which the music industry had wanted. Heise has not yet stated whether it will appeal.
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