Mon, Aug. 01, 2005

Analysis of Arrest Warrant Ruling

MAG - Washington.   The European Arrest Warrant was to be implemented in German law as an EU-wide arrest and surrender warrant. The new system promised to swiftly resolve EU cross-border criminal enforcement.

It aims to bring both victim and alleged criminal to justice within a strict time frame of three months, compared to the previously lengthy extradition system.

This simplified procedure involves courts issuing a warrant, and will largely remove Ministers from the process, representing a new development in EU wide judicial co-operation.

The Federal Supreme Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe voided the German statute on the European arrest warrant and explained the rationale for its decision in the matter 2 BvR 2236 /04 in an English-language press release.

In an article published today in 21 International Enforcement Law Reporter 357 (2005), GALJ-contributor Verena Hild explains the complexity of the decision and its consequences for Germany and the EU: German Court Holds European Arrest Warrant Void, Refuses Spanish request for al Qaeda Financier.

Employer Owns Software Program

CK - Washington.   An employee created a software program for his employer. He performed the service, in part, at his home office and not necessarily during business hours. The employee claimed ownership in the program. The server on which the program ran crashed shortly after a nastigram from the employee to the employer. The employer proved that an outside attack had targeted that server at the time.

Based on these facts, the Cologne Court of Civil Appeals decided that the employer owns the program. Further, it confirmed a cease and desist order against the employee with respect to attacks on the employer's systems.

The court dismissed the employee's arguments that §69b of the Copyright Statute could not generate ownership in the employer because the employee was hired as a technician, not a programmer, and further, that the work done outside of regular business hours would prevent the ownership from originating in the employer.

This decision of February 25, 2005 in the matter 6 U 132/04, first reported in Carola Ernesti's IT-Blawg, helps clarify the sometimes murky German rules on employer ownership of software programs.

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