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German railroad threatens Indymedia over links to "Radikal" site

Politech archive on ongoing dispute over "Radikal" site:

"German nat'l railroad readies linking-suit against Google, Yahoo"

Some "Radikal" mirror sites:


Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 16:48:37 +0200
To: declan@well.com
From: Maurice Wessling <maurice@bof.nl>
Subject: Indymedia threatened by German Railroads

[The German Railroads are threatening Indymedia in the Netherlands with a 
lawsuit to remove links to mirrors of the magazine Radikal. Previously the 
Railroad company succeeded in forcing ISP xs4all.nl to remove the original 
Radikal site and threatened Google with a lawsuit to remove the links from 
their database.]


Indymeda.nl refuses to remove links to Radikal site despite being summoned
indymedia.nl, 24.04.2002 21:39

Press release

Indymeda.nl refuses to remove links to Radikal site despite being summoned 
to do so by Deutsche Bahn (German Rail)

Tuesday 23 april the newsmedium Indymedia NL has received a letter from a 
lawfirm representing Deutsche Bahn AG demanding the removal of an internet 
page. The page in question contains some links to mirrors of the -long 
defunct- german periodical Radikal. Two articles contained in those mirrors 
have been the subject of a lawsuit last week.

DB objects to these articles because these contain instructions on how to 
obstruct the heavily critized German nuclear transports. By way of a 
judicial procedure, Internet provider XS4ALL has been ordered to remove 
these pages from the homepage of one of its subscribers. After this 
removal, many mirrors have sprung up all over the world. If the Indymedia 
page containing links to th7ese mirrors is not removed immediately, DB will 
sue, their letter states.

Indymedia NL adamantly refuses to comply with DB´s demand to remove the 
links for the following three reasons:

Firstly the links in question do not directly lead to the disputed 
articles, but to mirrors in which the articles are contained. The articles 
therefore are at least three "clicks" away (from indymedia to the mirror 
and from the mirror to the content page of the Radikal editions and from 
there to the articles). Complying with this request would mean jeopardizing 
the fundaments of the internet, since links are the esence of this medium.

Secondly, Indymedia NL is part of a worldwide independent news network, 
entirely produced by volunteers. Using the open publishing system, anyone 
can freely publish his or her news in the form of text, audio, video or 
photos. Principally Indymedia.nl does not want to censor or prevent people 
from placing links to news sources. We believe that everyone has the right 
to place links, notwithstanding the content available through these links.

Thirdly, Indymedia NL thinks that conforming to the demand would jeopardize 
the national and international freedom of the press, which is the basis of 
every democratic system. The possibility for censorship of hyperlinks in 
this way would have severe negative consequences for relevant provision of 
information in all layers of society (media, education, etc). Indymedia NL 
therefore calls for support in this very fundamental issue. Indymedia 
stresses that the issue is about references to freely available pages which 
are outside of Indymedia´s responsibility.

Updates on this case will be posted on
The disputed webpage is at

Monetary donations can be directed to Dutch bank account on 
behalf of Stichting SBIP, Amsterdam. Any form of legal expertise is also 
very welcome.

More information:

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