Convicted German Murderer Wants His Conviction Erased From Wikipedia

from the bit-of-a-conflict... dept

EFF has the bizarre story of a convicted murderer in Germany who is demanding that Wikipedia censor all mentions of the guy's name. Apparently, he (and his lawyers) are using a part of German law that allows for the protection of "names and likenesses of private persons from unwanted publicity." However, as the EFF points out, he's not a private person. He became a very public person when he was tried and convicted (along with his half-brother) for killing Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr. Apparently, his lawyers are going after multiple service providers, trying to get the guy's name taken off the internet. The EFF points out that the press has published the two convicted murderers' names for Sedlmayr's death: Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber, and that this appears to be nothing more than an attempt to censor history across multiple borders.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    Let me get this straight?

     

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  2.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Let me get this straight?

    Sorry, hit the Enter key in the subject box.

    Did you say this was Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber? Those killers of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr?

    Good to know.

     

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  3.  
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    Lisa (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    Streisand effect activate!

     

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  4.  
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    Spyder (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Let me get this straight?

    You know, I wonder if Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber, the guys who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr, will decide that Techdirt will need to remove these comments...

     

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  5.  
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    PeteProdge (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight?

    I'm sure we may hear from murderers Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber if that is the case. I assume they won't want a widely-read website such as this to report on their murder of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr, and I doubt they would want comment contributors bringing it up. So can we stop doing it okay?

     

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  6.  
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    Call me Al, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    This isn't a big surprise really. The internet has publicised things further and wider then ever before. Many people (and companies) have no idea how to deal with it. They cannot hide from it but want to try. The result, as Lisa pointed out, is that they instead cause far more attention to be paid to them then previously.

    Now some make use of it for their own advantage, reasoning that even bad news is advertising. However this guy presumably isn't trying to do that (unless he has an upcoming book deal) and so I can only assume that either he, or his lawyers, are idiots. Most likely neither understand the inevitable result of this kind of action.

    Have to say that prior to this I had never heard of Walter Sedlmayr, let alone Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered him. I'll pop onto wikipedia later this evening and have a read... then possibly link to it on Facebook for anyone else who might be interested. Unless its all in German in which case I'll never think of him again.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:28am

    Sorry Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber, all your names are belong to us!!

     

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  8.  
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    Esahc (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    Streisand effect; kryptonite for lawyers.

     

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  9.  
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    Esahc (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re:

    New t-shirt mike?

     

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  10.  
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    Mechwarrior, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:44am

    Censoring history is not something new for Germany.

     

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  11.  
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    Spyder (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    Actually, although they are idiots their lawyers will still be paid...

     

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  12.  
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    Call me Al, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    The age old question of who is the bigger fool... the fool or the fool who pays him?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    I've never heard of Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber. Weird. They killed someone, huh?

     

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  14.  
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    TheGreatSemaj, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    T-Shirts!

    Get them while there hot! Let everyone you walk by know that Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber are in fact the guys who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr!

     

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  15.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    funny, and i would have never heard of them had it not been for the fact that they tried to make it so id never heard of them.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    This Techdirt article about Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber is already #3 in the Google search results for his name.

    Don't stop until we're #1, guys!!

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    You mean Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr? No, I haven't heard of them either and I'm German.

     

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  18.  
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    Pirate My Music (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr's Murderers Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber

    The murderers Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr want the entry for Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber to be removed from Wikipedia, despite conviction in public court regarding Wolfang Werle and Manfred Lauber's conviction for murder in the murder case of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayer?

    I think I hear Ms Streisand calling the convicted murderers Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber, unfortunately she does not speak their language. I'm sure Walter Sedlmayer wouldn't appreicate Wolfgang Werle or Manfred Lauber trying to deny that they killed Walter Sedlmayer, if Walter Sedlmayer referred to himself in the third person, that is.

    I'm glad that Techdirt has informed me of the convicted murderers Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber having a Wikipedia page regarding them and their conviction for the murder of Walter Sedlmayer. Thank you Techdirt.

     

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  19.  
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    Hank, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    What is he so afraid of? Does he think people that read Wikipedia will be the end all judgment over him. He sounds more paranoid than anything. Perhaps he needs a hobby in prison of some kind.

     

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  20.  
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    Greg, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight?

    You mean I should stop mentioning Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber, murderers of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr?

     

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  21.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:16am

    Redrum...

    Wait, Didn't Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber rape and murder Barbara Streisand in 1990?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    So is it true Glenn Beck is a friend of Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber, murderers of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr? And if not, why hasn't he come out and said he isn't?

     

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  23.  
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    Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Please stop

    This is Google fodder...Please.

     

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  24.  
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    Whatever, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    or the US, or France, or Japan, or Russia or wait... It's not new for anyone

     

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  25.  
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    DS78, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Okay

    You win.

    I won't mention Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber again...

     

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  26.  
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    MBraedley (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    If he ever gets out of jail and goes looking for a job, his potential employers will probably do a google search on him, and when that search turns up a murder conviction, then they may think twice. This assumes of course that the company is stupid enough to not do a criminal background check first. Without his name plastered over the wiki and other sites, it's possible that he could squeak by with this fact being less known. If he's actually innocent (unlikely, but possible), then there's the potential that these sites won't be updated to clear his name.

    Having said all that, do I think he should get his way? No, but that doesn't mean I don't understand his reasoning.

     

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  27.  
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    trollificus (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    More unmentionables...

    I suppose Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr will also want expunged from the internet all mention of their complicity in the events of 9/11? (And the Moon Landing Hoax.)

     

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  28.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Okay

    You mean the ones who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr, pulled off 9/11, the moon landing hoax, the Kennedy assassination, created AIDS, and were solely responsible for fondeling all those Catholic kids?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    I'm sorry, do you have a German law degree?

    I hate to break up the Streisand party, but you baldy state that the person is a "public figure" under German law. Do you know that? I'm sure he's a "public figure" under U.S. law, but most other countries don't have a First Amendment (and wouldn't call it that even if they did).

    There are all kinds of laws about speech in other countries -- try talking about Nazis in Germany if you want an example.

    You think that this is a dumb law (probably a good point) but don't pretend to give legal advice as to whether the person is covered by the law or not. Unless you got a German law degree when I wasn't looking, you simply don't know.

     

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  30.  
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    Big Al, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Keep it up, guys - we're #2 on google at the moment...

     

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  31.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    Number 2 for what, mentioning Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr?

    That's odd. Why does anyone even care that we're mentioning Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Public persons in Europe are people such as judges, prosecutors, policemen, officials, etc. Famous people are not public persons.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Public persons in Europe are people such as judges, prosecutors, policemen, officials, etc. Famous people are not public persons.

     

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  34.  
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    Headbhang, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Google promote button

    Hmm, when searching Google about Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who got convicted by the killing of Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr I noticed for the first time this little button that says "Promote" next to the search result. I clicked it.

     

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  35.  
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    Headbhang, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    Oopsie, then.

    Good luck to the German authorities trying to remove all the publicity about Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr.

     

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  36.  
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    trollificus (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Okay

    Yes, but they're suing so that you won't mention it.

     

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  37.  
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    PeteProdge (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 12:44am

    Re: I'm sorry, do you have a German law degree?

    TechDirt is an American site. The server is physically located in the USA. No matter if Germany were to make it illegal to even mention Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber (who murdered Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr), it would not affect this site.

    You bring up mentioning the Nazis under Germany law, yet this applies only to glorifying the regime. You can of course mention "Nazis", otherwise history book publishers would be out of business.

    I'm against censorship laws, they serve no good in the long run. It's a good thing they're being ridiculed and ignored on this site, as well as German websites!

    Still, none of this will bring Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr from the dead, as he has been murdered by murderer Wolfgang Werle and his half-brother Manfred Lauber, also a murderer.

     

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  38.  
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    Dave, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    How's that again?

    Just remind me of their names again?

     

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  39.  
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    PeteProdge (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Well which name do you want? There's Wolfgang Werle, Manfred Lauber and Walter Sedlmayr.

    Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber were the killers, and Walter Sedlmayr was the one who got killed.

    I hope that has cleared it up for you, there shouldn't be any more need for those names to be mentioned again. Especially as it is upsetting Wolfgang Werle. Not sure about Manfred Lauber, but we know Walter Sadlmayr is unable to give an opinion, due to having been murdered by Wolfgang Werle and Manfred Lauber.

     

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  40.  
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    John Doe, Nov 13th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Unwanted Publicity?

    If he didn't want all that publicity, perhaps he shouldn't have killed a popular and well-known actor in the first place?

    But as long as Walter Sedlmayr stays dead, we should be allowed to call Wolfgang Werlé and his half brother Manfred Lauber murderers, right?

     

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  41.  
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    J.D.K., Nov 17th, 2009 @ 5:15pm

    They did it...now its public knowledge

    Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber were found guilty of murder of Walter Sedlmayr. Now they want their names to be removed from the wikipedia article so that they can go back to living regular lives as if nothing happened. The defense that they are using is defamation.
    There are several defenses for defamation torts that are spelled out through various United States articles. For example, the statements made my wikipedia are simply quoted from the case and they state what the court has decided to be true. Truth is one of the biggest defenses for defamation, thus there is no case.
    There is no invasion of privacy as far as I'm concerned either, so that argument is also irrelevant. It is in the greater public interest that this information be available.

     

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  42.  
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    Bernard, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Can these two well known and convicted criminals move time back, having not killed our beloved and famous TV star? No, they can't - and so their names should show what they are, two infamous and ruthless killers without mercy against their victim.
    Needless to say, that I would like to support death penalty...

    Kind Regards


    Bernard

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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