FC: German politican acquitted of Radikal "linkcrime"
Tue, 1 Jul 1997 06:29:32 +1000
A cross-posting, but of interest to many linkers, I suspect. The problem
with the report of the judgement given here is that the ramifications are
still not quite clear.
Logic would suggest that a person is not publishing illegal materials
merely by linking to a page that in turn links to illegal materials.
If, on the other hand, I link to a page which I know, or should know,
*contains* illegal materials (e.g. instruction in violence,
refused-classification pornography, incitement of racial hatred), then I
would seem to be prima facie guilty of a crime of publishing illegal
Now for the hard one: if I link to an intermediate page, but nod and wink,
and suggest that that page will in turn lead to illegal materials, or even
to "something interesting", am I prima facie guilty? I think I'll happily
leave those kinds of boundary cases to a court to sort out!
>From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: FC: German politican acquitted of Radikal "linkcrime"
>X-FC-URL: Fight-Censorship is at http://www.eff.org/~declan/fc/
>BERLIN, Germany (June 30, 1997 12:56 p.m. EDT) - A left-wing German
>politician who had been charged with aiding and supporting guerrilla acts
>with information linked to her home page on the Internet was acquitted
>Monday in a Berlin court.
>The court ruled that Angela Marquardt, 25, could not be held responsible
>for the contents of a magazine Germans could access via a hyperlink from
>her home page. Marquardt is a former deputy leader of Germany's reform
>communist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).
>It ruled that she had made the magazine accessible before it published
>instructions in June last year for anti-nuclear activists on how to
>sabotage railway lines. It said she could not be punished for merely
>maintaining the hyperlink.
>A hyperlink is a section of highlighted text on a page which can be viewed
>on the World Wide Web, the popular graphical part of the Internet computer
>The Netly News Network
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>More information is at http://www.eff.org/~declan/fc/
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
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