Thursday, April 18, 2013

Censorship of blogs

I recently discussed on my blog the issue of lawyers requesting take downs even for links to other sites. In this particular case (there are others to come) the lawyers felt that the page I was linking to was illegal.

I find this fascinating, as there has actually been litigation on this particular case that was decided by the Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe in case 14 U 90/06 from August 4, 2006. If you read through the judgement, it is extremely clear: It was absolutely within the rights of this journal to publish what they did. So their page is not illegal, neither is linking to it.

MIR summarizes the case in German:
Ein Autor, der mit (wissenschaftlichen) Veröffentlichungen hervorgetreten ist, muss sich eine Überprüfung seiner Werke dahingehend gefallen lassen, ob es sich dabei um eine eigene geistige Leistung gehandelt hat. Die, das Persönlichkeitsrecht eines Betroffenen berührenden Recherchemaßnahmen, sind gerechtfertigt, wenn sie von einem vertretbaren Informationsinteresse (der Presse) getragen sind.
[An author who has stepped into the public sphere with a (scientific) publication must accept that his works will be examined by others in order to determine if they are his own intellectual works. The investigations are permissible, irrespective of the personal rights of the party involved, when they are carried out within reasonable bounds of informational interest, in this case, the press. - translation dww]
Since I currently do not have the time to pursue this particular case, I have removed the links in question. But we should probably at some point make it clear that removing something from the public is not the way to deal with such problems. Arguments, however, are always welcome.

1 comment:

  1. This is somewhat similar to the threats agains Retraction Watch by Ariel Fernandez :http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/retraction-watch-threatened-with-legal-action-again/

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