The only extenuating circumstance is that the removal applies *only* to search results when you type just the name of the person, "Stan O Neil". If you make it "Stan O Neil corrupt", then you should get uncensored results, or so I read. Still, a horrible ruling, and I say that as a European.
I think Google is interpreting the verdict in a much broader way than it was intended; I believe the court excluded facts that could be important for society, politics, etc. Google may be doing this on purpose, in order to show the world how bad the ruling was (and, as a European, I would support Google in this: the court's censorship is stupid).
I have heard two possible explanations, both fairly tinfoily:
1. Truecrypt has received a Security Letter from an American or other agency (we don't know where they are) to build in a backdoor. They are not allowed to announce having received the letter, but they can simply rip out the encryption part of their software and make a general announcement like this one.
2. Were hacked but regained control. But why weren't they more specific in their warning, then?
@Mike One thing to consider is that it's not so bad to be liable in Germany as compared to America. Any potential punishment or fine will be a lot more reasonable.
What is more, I would not expect a German court to ever actually punish you if there is content on your website that is libelous, unless you ignore the verdict. And the verdict will always be "now that the other party has provided real proof that this is libelous, you must remove the content within x days or pay a daily fine". So for you, as a website, it is always safe to not act on complaints unless the a judge tells you to. So there is a significant barrier for complainants.
Further, it is easier and less expensive to defend yourself in a German court: courts are more active than in the common-law system, so you probably won't have to do anything if the complainant has no real proof accepted by the court as such: then the judge will acquit you. I imagine in some other countries you may be convicted if you do nothing, even if the complainant can't really prove anything.
That's not entirely the same thing, but I like your way of thinking. Perhaps the government should not be involved in libel at all? People can simply defend themselves by posting their own arguments elsewhere on the Internet, and readers must decide for themselves.
One reason why governments might want to get involved, however, is that it is easier for you to set up a campaign of libel against someone if you are rich and powerful. You can pay people and companies to spread the word, make advertisements. So that might be where a government might want to level the playing field, as it were.
Re: It's not only Lobbyist we'd need to worry about
Exactly! That is what will happen if this mercantilist treaty is ratified: parliaments, courts, and constitutions will have to be ignored, or countries will be sued at one of those three-lawyer tribunals that enforce such treaties, and the countries will be made to pay billions because some foreign corporation doesn't like a certain law/verdict/constitution. It's almost treason by their trade representatives.
The solution is to create a new Origin account for each game. That way, you can safely resell it or give it away to someone else. The alternative is downloading it from somewhere else...is that really what EA wants?
I have happily sent most of my € 2/month Flattr money to Techdirt over the past six months or so. Why not? And once in a long while I come across another site with a Flattr button, but Techdirt still gets most. I know, it's still a puny amount, but it's more than other free websites get from me, precisely because of the reasons Mike laid out. I will pay more once I make more money. For similar reasons, I have spent more on Android applications than on any other platform so far.
I believe this is the case in Chrome, but it is different in Firefox, for example, where Adblock Plus makes it so that your browser never even downloads the ads. I had someone check this for me, and it's true.
Due to the nature of Android, I strongly doubt whether Adblock can reach within all applications and hide ads there: I much rather think it simply blocks the IP addresses of the advertising companies. I use Adaway on Android, which works so well in nearly all applications that I cannot believe it would work in any other way.