Breaking News: 6 May 2013
Statement by the plentyfact collective regarding "German actor Til Schweiger vs ucrony.net"
You might have noticed that since last Friday ( 3 May ) the domain
ucrony.net, including multiple subdomains, emails and mailinglists, are
offline. the ucrony folks have issued a press release
about what is going on.
What happened? Last week German actor Til Schweiger, known for his
German teen comedies in the nineties and a rather failed Hollywood
career, sucessfully applied via his lawyers for an injunction in a German Court
( Landgericht Berlin ) to remove an article from the multi-language
Blog directactionde.ucrony.net. The injunction, however, was not
served to ucrony's postal contact in Germany, but to ucrony's domain
registrar ( Key Systems
), who subsequently shut down the
Top Level Domain on Friday morning.
Ucrony.net is a loose collective of people offering subdomains and
mailinglists to non-commercial initiatives, technically supported by
us, the plentyfact collective. Hence all subdomains are currently
affected by the legal action.
What is this all about?
Some Background: One of those subdomains was used by a multi-language
blog called directactionde.ucrony.net. A couple of weeks ago this blog
reported about a paintball attack by some activists against Til
Schweiger's house, a protest apparently related to some positive
comments Schweiger made about the German Army in Afghanistan. The
incident was widely reported in the German mainstream media.
Schweiger's lawyers claim that the article spoke too positive about the
incident and also quoted from a statement allegedly written by those
As we take little interest in the life of an actor with rather mediocre
skills like Til Schweiger, we do not know all the details about what he said where and when,
as we think that this is beside the point anyway.
How Til Schweiger reacts in case of fire
What we indeed do care about is the fact that Til Schweiger, by his
legal action, has shut down about 21 Websites and the communication
tools ( Emails, Lists) of several musicians, photographers, video
collectives ( including reelnews
Into the Fire
) and local initiatives in
Schweiger's lawyers do not specify which German law was broken by the
US-based Blog. However, legal action against a domain registrar to
remove unwanted content seems to be a new level of confrontation in the
more and more repressive climate for bloggers. Even more, Schweiger's
lawyers also threaten ucrony with further legal action in case they use
the legal action "for publication", apparently attempting to silence
any possible bad media for Schweiger.
If the shut down of infrastructure such as domain registrars becomes a
common way to remove unwanted articles from the internet, we expect
google.com to closed very soon due to comments on plus.google.com. Of
course this is not going to happen, as such action not surprisingly
normally only happen against independent and non-commercial websites.
To avoid affecting so many uninvolved people, the
article in question was in fact removed from the blog less then 24
hours after the injunction, but this had no effect on the availability
of the domain anymore.
Lawyers are currently in talks with the domain registrar to clarify the
legal situation, howerer at this point we can not say when the domain
will be available again.