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 responsible.
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 and Into the Fire ) and local initiatives in several countries.
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.
plentyfact collective
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