German Court: ISP Must Not Block Access To Foreign Sites, Even If They Are Illegal

from the makes-a-change dept

Against a background where some European courts are telling ISPs that they must block access to certain sites (in Finland and the UK, for example), this news from Germany comes as a refreshing change (original German article in Der Spiegel):

Deutsche Telekom must allow access to online betting sites, even if they are illegal in Germany. So ruled the Cologne Administrative Court on Thursday.
This follows a decision in Düsseldorf at the end of last year, where a judge had ruled that Vodafone and Telekom were not responsible for the content of Web sites, because they played no role in selecting material, and therefore should not be forced to block access. Moreover, the latest judgment can be used as a precedent in similar cases, according to the Der Spiegel report.

Of course, this reasoning also applies in those jurisdictions where ISPs have been forced to censor sites. This emphasizes the contradictory rules that are being applied across the EU, and the fact that the law in this area is by no means settled.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Nazi stuff?

    That'd be the true test for Germany.

    They are pretty militant about not even allowing speech on that topic I'm remembering correctly.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    that was just decided in the "wrong" court. had they sued in hamburg, they would have probably been ordered to block retroactively to the stoneage or some similar asinine ruling. Here its only a matter which court is sued on and then which court level.

    cologne has been rather innovation friendly outside of the one chamber that gives everyone and their dog the names to an IP adress on the base of alleged infringement, regardless if its substantiated or not

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

  3. identicon
    Mr. Oizo, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Demonoid anyone ?

    That is inaccessible in germany due to a court order.

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

  4. identicon
    anonymous, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    ruled this way because it's companies that are involved. if it were some lowly individual, he would have been banged up for 20 years!

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

  5. icon
    mike allen (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    All tnhis is doing my head in Germany is not known for this kind of ruling. aa those nice men in white coats at last. joke

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

  6. icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:38pm


    I am not one to support gambling but I would certainly never support censorship to stop people who do.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Nazi stuff?

    Allowing speech about it is one thing, allowing it as a political platform is what is illegal.

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

  8. identicon
    YPT, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Two explanatory notes:

    First of all this judgement only applies in North Rhine-Westphalia. Other Courts may follow, but it's not binding for other German States.

    Secondly, the judgement is not effective and may still be subject to an appeal.

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

  9. icon
    David Gerard (profile), Jan 15th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Nazi stuff? has lots of swastikas on it, and was a front page article in German Wikipedia. While Wikipedia is hosted and legally based in the US, a lot of German citizens worked on the article.

    Tremendous amounts of detail about the Nazis in German Wikipedia in general.

    They see it as a matter of context.

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

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