Tue, Apr. 25, 2006

Links Remain Legal

CK - Washington.   Internet links to web sites published by others remain legal in Germany, and the mention of names disclosed on such other sites is also legal, the Berlin district court confirmed in its April 20, 2006 judgment in the matter 27 O 925/05.

Former GALJ author, Washington intern and Berlin attorney Sebastian Wolff-Marting, counsel for the winning defendant, published the decision in the Berlin Blawg.

The outcome is well-earned and the grounds are well-founded in the copyright law and the law of names. Any surprise is limited to plaintiff's belief to have had a case which became known as the Mein Parteibuch dispute.

Release of Nazi Archive

CB - Washington.   Berlin Attorney General Brigitte Zypries announced on April 18, 2006 in Washington, D.C. the complete release of one of the most significant data collections on human rights violations in contemporary history.

The archive in Bad Arolsen consists of 15 miles of shelves with up to 50 million documents. A large part of them was contributed by allied forces after their liberation of concentration camps. The files relate to more than 17.5 million Nazi victims, but the number is inexact because there is no index.

So far only surviving family members and few others received access to the archive. The German government refused other inquiries because of privacy concerns. The data includes police records, homosexuality, diseases and ethnic affiliation. Germany decided to release the data after the cooperating nations established sufficient measures to protect the confidential data.

The archive had been established by the Arolsen tracing service, an institution of the Red Cross, founded after WWII to help surviving Nazi victims find relatives. Arolsen is funded by Germany and governed by an international board of eleven countries. By the end of 2007, the material will become available to researchers in the eleven nations.

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