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Link To Site Selling DVD Circumvention Software has to be removed!

Creating a link to another website which offers illegal software for download, can lead to prosecution for complicity. A Munich court ruled that the online news service Heise may publish an article explaining anti-circumvention technology, but it may not include a link in that article to a Web site where users may download the software. Although no direct link was provided to download the software, the music record industry took Heise to court with allegations of complicity for copyright infringement and won.

The court did not agree with Heise's argumentation that their articles and the hyperlink were protected by laws for the freedom of the press. According to the court Heise intentionally provided "assistance in the fulfillment of unlawful acts" and is therefore liable as "an aider and abettor". The court also did not find it relevant that readers were also able to find the product via a search engine. Rather, it ruled that providing a link made finding the software "much easier".

  • May 4, 2005: Heise-Urteil zur Linkhaftung im Volltext, Links & Law

  • April 11, 2004: Libbenga, Jan, Heise ordered to remove link to, The Register:
    "A Munich court has ruled that German news site Heise Online was wrong to publish a link to, a company that advertises software that can play, copy and rip protected audio CDs."

  • Heidrich, Jörg, Verlinken verboten, c't:
    "Dürfen Presseorgane auch nach der Reform des Urheberrechts weiter über eine Software berichten, die den Kopierschutz von CDs und DVDs überwindet?"

  • April 5, 2005, Urteil in Sachen Musikindustrie gegen heise online, Heise:
    "In dem Rechtsstreit (Az. 21 O 3220/05) von acht Unternehmen der Musikindustrie gegen den Heise Zeitschriften Verlag liegt seit heute das schriftliche Urteil des Landgerichts München I vor."

  • March 7, 2005: Münchner Landgericht verbietet Link auf Kopiersoftware-Hersteller, Heise:
    "Einen wichtigen Teilerfolg verbuchte der Heise Zeitschriften Verlag in dem Verfahren von acht großen Unternehmen der Musikindustrie gegen den Verlag vor dem Landgericht München I."

  • January 28, 2005, Abmahnung wegen Link,
    "IFPI Deutschland, der deutsche Ableger des internationalen Dachverbands der Musikindustrie, hat den Heise-Verlag abgemahnt."

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