German Appeal Court upheld principle that links sites can be illegal

September 2005


The Munich Intermediate Court of Appeals has upheld a decision of a lower court that a site providing links to another site providing illegal copying software. Heise online had published a story in January about Slysoft’s anyDVDprogramme. They were taken to court for an alleged breach of Section 95a of the Copyright Act,” which bans, among other things, the manufacture, import, propagation, sale, renting, and advertisement of ‘tools to crack copy-protection mechanisms.’ The plaintiffs felt that merely providing a link to the homepage of a manufacture of copying software itself constituted a breach of this Section. In addition, Heise was accused of having provided ‘instructions on how to crack copy-protection mechanisms’ in the report. Finally, the news report was considered ‘illegal advertising’ for the sale of the software.


See Law Updates May 2005 for the lower court’s decision in this case. See Law Updates March 2005 German court clears ISPs of liability for infringing uses by third parties and see Law Updates August 2005 Links site found to infringe copyright in Australian judgment.

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