Sat, Jul. 23, 2005

Software Reports Illegal

CK - Washington.   The issue of whether reports on software may be illegal will go before the Munich appellate court on July 28, 2005. Recent European and German developments in copyright law purport to protect consumers from learning of software tools that can read protected content.

Heise Publishers reported on such tools and now have a complete report on the reaction by a gang of music marketers. Certain representatives of the music industry intend to silence the press when it comes to links to software the music group dislikes, and possibly, as Heise suspects, to the entire reporting on such software.

The lower court found Heise to have violated the recent copyright act amendments. The industry is pushing, not only in Germany, for more measures against technology. Mathias Spielkamp of the immateriblog called the case a matter of censorship.

An older discussion of liability for links: Kochinke and Tröndle, Links, Frames und Meta-Tags, Computer & Recht 1999, 190. On the content industry's failure to adapt to technology and instead to fight it: Kochinke and Geiger: Trends im US-Computer- und Internet-Recht, Kommunikation & Recht, 2000, 594.

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