[Reader-list] Censorship: Judge orders Indymedia NL to remove links to Radikal mirrors

Henk henk at waag.org
Fri Jun 21 15:02:13 IST 2002


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 demand.

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 NL´s links only point to copies of the front page of the
German periodical Radikal. It takes more clicks to reach the illegal

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

For more information:
 info at indymedia.nl 

More information about the reader-list mailing list