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German court: Linking to DVD rippers is illegal

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 11 Apr 2005 14:19 User comments (10)

German court: Linking to DVD rippers is illegal Ever since Germany adopted its current draconian copyright legislation, several news stories about software companies moving away from the German market have emerged. However, linking to such material from third party websites has been grey area until now. German district court ruled last week that German website has violated country's copyright legislation by linking to SlySoft's website. SlySoft is the maker of AnyDVD, a software product that allows cracking the copyright protection found on most DVD-Video discs, and CloneCD, a tool that allows backing up virtually all of the copy protected audio CDs.
Website defended itself by pointing out to the freedom of speech that is defined in German constitution, but the first-instance district court of Munich I ruled that the protection on intellectual property goes before the freedom of speech. Court also ignored the claims that anyone could have simply entered the software product's name to a search engine and found the product anyway. Apparently, court decided that direct linking made finding the product much easier and thus increased the danger of copyright violations significantly.

On good side, court also ruled that articles about tools that allow breaking copy protection mechanisms can be published legally, it is just the linking to such tools that can't be done legally in Germany. Court ruled Heise Zeitschriften Verlag, the owner company of the website, to pay 500,000 euros in damages to the music industry.

Source: announcement

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10 user comments

111.4.2005 14:32

Why did he have to pay it towards the music industry? :S -Mike

211.4.2005 15:02

"...the first-instance district court of Munich I ruled that the protection on intellectual property goes before the freedom of speech." Well, that pretty much says it all right there. How long before they decide you have to be a property owner to vote? Mik3h- Good question.

311.4.2005 18:43

mik3h, that is because they are greedy lol.

411.4.2005 22:53

I'm in Australia so don't give a F#@k!!!

512.4.2005 10:09

Crowy, you say you don't give a F&%$ since you live in Australia. Bad attitude my friend. I'm reminded of World War two. Some countries did not give a F)(*& until it was at their back door! One place today..anothr place tomorrow..

612.4.2005 10:40

to they post a link to another website with the link?

712.4.2005 10:46

sorry CAN they post a link to a website with the link to the software?

812.4.2005 10:49

Wonder how has reacted to this . Winamp has a ripper for CDs wonder if thats banned in Germany now .

912.4.2005 19:42

I was only having a joke.Lets not get to political.

1016.4.2005 2:44

That is a prett ydrastic decission. Am I breaking the law if I tell someone the adress to SlySoft´s website? It´s kind of the same thing... Are we going to have police offcers monitor everything we say in order to fight the possibility of piracy?

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