Shouldn't Lawyers Sending Out Nastygrams Online Understand The Internet First?

from the it-would-probably-help dept

It’s amazing sometimes to see what happens when lawyers who don’t seem to understand the internet start freaking out about something online. You would think, by now, people would know to go and ask someone who knows a little better to explain what’s going on — but we still see bizarre cases that never would have gone anywhere if someone had simply spent a tiny bit of time asking how the internet works, and whether or not there’s a real issue.. John points us to a situation in Germany, where a blogger received a legal nastygram from the Sozialgericht Bremen, “a court of law for dealing with cases in the area of German social services” because his blog shows up in a Google search for Sozialgericht Bremen. Obviously, it seems silly to think that it would be illegal to mention Sozialgericht Bremen online, and after that, it’s hard to see how the blogger in question has any control over where his site appears on a Google search for that term. However, that won’t stop some lawyers from assuming that someone must be to blame — and when someone’s to blame, out come the legal nastygrams, even if they have no basis in, say, law.

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Comments on “Shouldn't Lawyers Sending Out Nastygrams Online Understand The Internet First?”

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Google Press Center (user link) says:

Re: Top 15 of 2005 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

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crankysysadmin says:

Re: No Subject Given

Not only was it just the director of the Sozialgericht, it’s all about a “Zuordnungsverwirrung” — that is, she (the director) is claiming that a casual Internet user could be fooled into thinking the blogger’s website was actually the website of the Sozialgericht, because the *title* of the page which is appearing in the Google result is simply “Sozialgericht Bremen” (and not, for example, “Blog post about Sozialgericht Bremen”). She mentions that it’s misleading because in the Google summary, you see the page title before you visit the page.

Yes, she’s threatening with laws & such, but you need to know the Germans to know that this is kind of a nonaggressive and almost socially acceptable message, and it shouldn’t be understood in American hyperlitigious terms… if you ask me.

Michael says:

No Subject Given

What makes this so much more amusing is the sheer mass of people linking to his blog in response to the letter, and the sharp rise in the number of times “Sozialgericht Bremen” is mentioned on his blog because he allows comments. His site will be number 1 in no time.
Ahhh… when the arrogant and ignorant collide 😉

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