| press release: Judge orders Indymedia NL to remove links to Radikal mirrors
Indymedia NL - 21.06.2002 01:55
Amsterdam, 20 june 2002
The court case, initiated by Deutsche Bahn (German Rail, DB) against
Indymedia NL, has turned out negative for the latter organisation.
Indymedia NL regrets the facts that the judge in the verdict does not
elaborate on which kinds of links are permissible and which are not. This
ruling will therefore have severe consequences for every person or
organisation that has placed links on the Internet. Due to the structure of
Internet, it is possible to reach any website on the internet, by way of
combinations of links and indirect links.
Deutsche Bahn insisted a couple of weeks ago that Indymedia NL should
remove a number of indirect links of mirrors of the website of the
periodical Radikal. Through the linked start page, numerous articles are
available, including two articles concerning ways of blocking nuclear
transports. These two articles have been ruled illegal in the Netherlands
by the same judge on April 25th 2002. Indymedia NL refused to adhere to the
In the verdict of June 20th, the judge has ordered to remove the hyperlinks
and to keep them removed, in as far as these hyperlinks lead to the Radikal
articles, either directly or indirectly and notwithstanding whether these
hyperlinks were placed by visitors. If Indymedia NL does not comply with
this order, a penal sum of 5,000 Euros per day can be imposed. The judge
ordered that, like an Internet Service Provider but just as much like the
editors of a newspaper, Indymedia NL is, in principle, responsible for the
content that has been published with its help.
The verdict is surprising, since Indymedia NL does not link directly to
illegal articles. Until now, only direct links to illegal material were
forbidden in the Netherlands. Out of this verdict however, it follows that
indirect links to illegal material are also forbidden, because Indymedia
NLīs links only point to copies of the front page of the German periodical
Radikal. It takes more clicks to reach the illegal articles.
Indymedia NL considers the ruling a dramatic limitation of the
possibilities of the Internet and the freedom of speech. Indymedia NL will
probably try to appeal this decision out of principal considerations.
For more information:
| uit dit artikel zijn aanvullingen verplaatst naar de ruispagina
|traduzione italiana del comunicato stampa
| xxx - 21.06.2002 02:24
PRESS RELEASE: Il giudice ordina a indymedia NL di rimuovere i link ai mirror di Radikal
Indymedia NL 21.06.2002 01:55
Amsterdam 20 giugno 2002
Il caso giudiziario, iniziato dalla Deutsche Bahn (le ferrovie tedesche, DB) contro indymedia NL, si e´ concluso negativamente in relazione a quest´ultima.
Indymedia NL si rammarica che il giudice non chiarisca quali tipi di link sono possibili e quali no nell´elaborazione del verdetto. Questa sentenza avra´ gravi conseguenze per qualunque organizzazione ponga link su Internet. A causa della struttura di Internet e´ possibile raggiungere qualsiasi sito sulla rete, attraverso una combinazione di link diretti e indiretti. DB ha insistito due settimane fa che indymedia NL dovesse togliere una lista di link a mirror di siti del periodico Radikal. Attraverso la pagina linkata dalla lista, molti articoli sono raggiungibili da un visistatore, inclusi i due articoli riguardati i metodi per sabotare i trasporti nucleari delle ferrovie tedesche. Questi due articoli sono stati considerati illegali da questo stesso giudice il 25 aprille del 2002. Indmedia NL rifiuta di sottostare al verdetto.
Nel verdetto del 20 giugno il giudic ha ordinato di rimuovere i link ipertestuali e di non ripubblicarli, fino a che questi rimandino direttamente o indirettamente e nonostante i link siano stati inseriti da visitatori del sito. Se indymedia non dovesse accettare di sottostare a questo verdetto, dovrebbe pagare 5000 Euro al giorno di multa. Il giudice ha ordinato che , come un internet service provider e come gli editori di un quotidiano, indymedia nl e´ responsabile dei contenuti pubblicati sul sito.
Il verdetto e´ sorprendente dato che indymedia NL non ha link diretti ai due articolli. Fino ad ora solo link diretti a materiali illegali erano proibiti in Olanda. Da questo verdetto in poi pero´ consegue che anche i link indiretti sono proibiti, dato che le pagine di indymedia NL puntano solo a copie della home page del periodico tedesco radikal. Ci vogliono molti click per arrivare agli articoli incriminati.
Indymedia considera il verdetto una limitazione drastica delle possibilita´ di internet di essere un luogo in cui e´ difesa la liberta´ di parola. Indymedia NL tentera´ di ricorrere conseguentemente a queste considerazioni.
| I m a g i n e :
| MauzZ - 21.06.2002 03:52
A public library in a city in a ´free´ country,
has 2 books in its collection
with controversial information.
Suddenly, after many many years, a judge orders,
on request from a company from another country,
to CLOSE DOWN this ENTIRE library for the public!
It stays closed while this judge decides whether to make these 2 books illegal...
(The 2 books eventually become illegal,
are removed from the library
and then the whole library re-opens for the public)
Immediately after the closure of the whole library,
a news report about this
appeared on a public notice board on a wall.
Completed with directions to other library´s,
with the same collections of (NOT forbidden) books,
wich were (and are) still open to the public ...
(wich was a newsfact in itself)
the operator of this independent, free, public news message board
and the owner of this wall,
gets SUED, CENSORED AND PUNISHED???!!!
Imagine, that this is a first try-out step of those in power, for a new future...
Finish the story yourself and color the pictures...
. . .
Website: http://indymedia.NL (No Liberty)
|Scrap all searchengines
| Ren Hoek - 21.06.2002 16:57
The most obvious target now ofcourse are search engines, since they enable me to find all sorts of illegal information, and most likely also the information in question of this court case.
This reminds too much of this satirical artical to ban markers because they circumvent CD protections thus are illegal under the DMCA.
Law makers should be very alert to the impact their rulings have, since we´re a _global_ village nowadays. Needless to say is that I find this judge lacking in his judgement.
|I was always proud to be Dutch...until now
| BitkId - 21.06.2002 17:58
What will go next? Cannabis?
|Reap the Consenquences
| Michael Armes - 21.06.2002 18:06
A previous comment stated:
This ruling will therefore have severe consequences for every person or organisation that has placed links on the Internet.
Definately, It does. Now, I wonder shouldn´t Indymedia NL now take this to the very people involved? Namely Deutsche Bahn and any Websites that may exist for the Nertherlands legal system. Perhaps it can be discovered that they too, have indirect links to the banned materials? This may take some searching, and if I knew some German, I would do this myself. Perhaps the judge can be made aware of this fact, or Indymedia NL may wish to hold onto the fact for any argument they may present in an appeal. At any rate, if found, I would suggest archiving the suspect pages in the presence of noninvolved witnesses in case the links are later removed.
So perhaps, if the very legal system or even the plantiffs can be found to be guilty of the same action Deutsche Bahn has been penalized for, perhaps the ruling can be showed for what it is. Inane.
E-Mail: armes AT iland DOT net
|Internet censorship in the Netherlands?
| Lourens Veen - 21.06.2002 18:11
Quote from the verdict:
"Nu Indymedia via haar website gebruikers in staat stelt om informatie op internet te plaatsen, is zij evenals een Internet Service Provider, maar ook evengoed als bijvoorbeeld (de redactie van) een dagblad, in beginsel aansprakelijk voor de met haar bemiddeling geplaatste publicaties, zij het met de geŽigende beperkingen. Aangezien Indymedia weet dat enkele op haar website geplaatste hyperlinks leiden tot de onder 1c genoemde door de rechter onrechtmatig geoordeelde artikelen, handelt zij, net als de Internet Service Provider of de krant, onrechtmatig jegens Deutsche Bahn door geen maatregelen te treffen om verspreiding van de onrechtmatige informatie te staken." (See http://www.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak/frameset.asp?ui_id=35596)
----- Quick (and not perfect, IANAL) translation -----
"Now that Indymedia, through her website, enables users to make information available via the internet, it can, just like an Internet Service Provider, but also for example like the editors of a newspaper, be held responsible for the materials published through its service, however with the usual limitations. Since Indymedia knows that several of the hyperlinks on its website lead to the articles named under 1c, which have been ruled illegal by the court, it, just like an ISP or a newspaper, performs illegal acts against Deutsche Bahn by not taking precautions to prevent the spread of illegitimate information."
I´m wondering, apparently ISPs can be held responsible for the information that is being made available through their services. Ofcourse, in this case, it is about the ISP hosting the information, but if person A puts something on their homepage and person B read it, then surely there are two ISPs involved. Since both ISPs participate in the spreading of information, does that mean that the ISP of the receiving user should also block the information, or in other words that there is currently legal ground for mandatory internet censorship at the ISP level? After all, the only way to make sure that the information really can´t be spread is installing filters at all ISPs in the Netherlands (I know, from a technical point of view that is nonsense, but I doubt that that´ll make a difference).
| Michael Armes - 21.06.2002 18:27
before the replies start comming in..
"of the same action Deutsche Bahn has been penalized for"
"of the same action Indymedia NL has been penalized for".
E-Mail: armes AT iland DOT net
| emhoo - 21.06.2002 22:15
Isn´t the solution to this kind of a problem that Indymedia NL should move it´s content to a server outside the Netherlands?
Then NL´s authorities are unable to fine IM NL.
| cedd - 22.06.2002 21:57
Laughing out loud...
> remove all direct or indirect links
Considering a study has shown a few months ago that on
average, all internet pages are 19 HREFs apart, this
means that indymedia.nl is to remove ALL their links,
Ok guys, time to fight with technology and not legislation:
let´s just ridicule them rather than follow the (rigged)
rules: someone just give us the "verboten kontent" and
everyone will mirror it on their homepage... just like
with DeCSS. Let´s see if they sue 4000 ISPs.
and let´s encourage freenet too ( http://freenet.org) from
what I´ve read it´s promising..
|NOT FUNNY AT ALL!!!!
| Mikemikez - 23.06.2002 09:53
I don´t think this is funny at all! Can´t you see that the internet is slowly changing into what television used to be, a closed propaganda system for governments and large corporations.
Best example of this is the so called "BROADBAND" internet connection which isn´t broadband at all! Broadband gives users a fast downstream, however, the sending speed is just enough to SWITCH CHANNELS, just like on the old fashioned television!!!! And this is exactly the way multinationals and our governments(that are pratically owned now by multinationals) want to see it, this way they have controll.
Most internet providers allready state in their contracts that one is not ALLOWED to run any server software.... You see where they are heading!?
|Question for IMC NL
| Eirik F. - 23.06.2002 17:09
I wonder how has the judge defined "Indymedia NL"; who is being held responsible? Are you a formal organisation or (as most IMCs) simply a network without existence on legal paper?
The reason I ask is that we in Norways IMC have been in a legal mess following a repost of a copyrighted article on our site by a user. The copyright holder wanted compensation, and threatened our ISP with legal action.
His problem was that "IMC Norway" did not exist; so he went after ISPs, volunteers who answered his mails and the domain name owner. It´s still an unresolved legal question whether IMC Norway has editorial responsibility for postings on its site, and who the hell IMC Norway is anyway. I should mention Norwegian law prohibits publications to exist without a responsible editor clearly named.
How has the Dutch legal system handled this?
Good luck, anyway. This ruling is absurd, and must be overturned. No judge with the slightest knowledge of the Internet could pass such a ruling.
BTW: "illegitimate information" (from the ruling) ... now THAT sounds Orwellian.
| brandon - 24.06.2002 01:29
This incident is alot like one that happened in the US about 2 years ago. The magazine "2600:The Hacker Quarterly" owns the website www.2600.org. On the website they placed a link to another website that hosted a certain controversial dvd-decrypting program. The judge made them remove the link. In response to the judges actions, 2600 had a contest for the most creative way to distribute the source code of the program. They also incuraged all there readers to create mirror sites with the program available for download. 2600 then listed all the mirror sites in text form. Text-only, not a clickable hyperlink. I feel they did good at making the judges injunction pretty damn irrelevant.
|There´s NO money for higher appeal!
| M02 - 25.06.2002 16:19
Indymedia NL doesn´t have the financ to take this case to a higher court!
Indymedia NL is NOT commercial!
Indymedia NL is not subsidised by the government!
Indymedia is run by volunteers and their contributions and donations.
Monetary donations can be directed to Dutch bank account 56.03.59.349 on behalf of SBIP foundation, Amsterdam.
(SBIP = Stichting ter Bevordering van Informatie en Publicatie)
|Opposed to verdict, but no sympathy
| T. Jacob - 01.07.2002 23:16
First of all, I´m opposed to the general consequences of
a verdict that makes people worry if the links
they link to link to "illegal material", this
verdict needs to be overturned or at least
I also find it to be a good thing,
that Dutch civil liberties make it possible
to publish the general type of nonsense
that the radikal-jerks so like [German
law doesn´t, if the groups in question
(i.e Nazis) try to "overturn the constitution"].
However, the said site advocates/advocated
(they appear to have removed the material
as well) directly the destruction of rails, though
not on the top page. Now this might seem
a small crime to you, but it might
people like me that could die because of it,
because I tend to ride trains in Germany.
That this is not far fetched, you can read in another
article on this side, where one of the groups involved
tries to explain that their manipulation of rail
signals electronics was not responsible for a
death caused by the malfunctioning of the road
|Convert the disputed Links to plain Text !!
| BlackPope - 18.07.2002 22:51
These can then be cut-and-pasted by anyone into their browser command line to reach the desired address - but are *NOT LINKS*, just text, free-speech. Never remove anything from your pages!!
Let's see the Judge try to censor that!!
What the hell do you mean by saying IMC *MIGHT* appeal this idiotic ruling??
Wake up please, IMC - there are literally millions of people worldwide who will support you.
Start an open fund to fight this case in a spirited fashion through all instances of the EU legal system - it may be the best and last chance we will have in Europe!!
Use the power of IMC worldwide to organise - it is at your fingertips. Do not just lay down and say, 'oh, the lazy-minded Judge closed us down, nothing can be done, sorry.'
And, for Koresh's sake, think about getting some Laywers who are maybe even slightly interested in the damn case, please!!
For an excellent example of a spirited, intelligent and aggressive defence against the tiny-minds of censors, see Dr. Dave Touretzky's Gallery of DeCSS Descramblers, under this link: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/
| juther blissett - 15.08.2002 08:04
ok, so by this logic, since imc is responsible for everything it helps to publish then the creators of the internet, the us military can be sued for aiding in the publication and distribution of child pornography.
and aiding terrorist organizations as there have been supposed emails from bin laden.
just think of what the us government, and all major isps can now be sued for.
maybe this is a blessing is disguise!
im about to sue all forestry companies for helping produce the paper that nzi organizations use for their publications.