Thu, Jan. 19, 2006

Discretion and Wikipedia.de

.   Under the Code of Civil Procedure, judges determine in the free exercize of their discretion measures for immediate relief. Munich lawyer Arne Trautmann explains at the Law-Blog why the closing of the domain wikipedia.de in response to a request for an injunction out of concern over a single Wikipedia.de page may be legal overkill.

Essentially, he argues, the court must apply measures suitable to attain the immediate objective. Laying the entire German-language Wikipedia to waste is excessive and may indicate ignorance of the workings of the internet.

The injunction is not publicly available and should help understand why the Charlottenburg court in Berlin decided on such drastic action. An issue of transatlantic interest is whether and how the injunction can be enforced against the Wikimedia Foundation, an international non-profit entity based in the United States. Christian Säfkens Weblog has a detailed legal analysis that points to a potentially abusive motive on the part of the petitioner.


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