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German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple 197

An anonymous reader writes "The association of German magazine publishers has sent a letter to Steve Jobs (Google translation; German original here) demanding talks about censorship by Apple. The move draws attention to growing concerns about freedom of the press when a single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for the iPhone and, especially, the iPad." While the magazine publishers may rightly be concerned about private control of a platform that many of them are counting on for their long-term salvation, the German state is at the very least ambivalent about the subject of censorship. This is the country that has banned Wikileaks, sought a ban on violent games, and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).
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German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple

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  • by Dr. Hok ( 702268 ) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:28PM (#32400362)

    and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

    Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering.

    The success of the German Pirate Party may be one of the reasons, but I guess the major reason is that the law gives the BKA (German federal police) the right to decide which site is to be blocked. Which is unconstitutional. The job of the police is to enforce the law, not to decide what is lawful. So everybody is scared that the law is torn to pieces by the constitutional court.

    BTW: The German Pirate Party has its own problems now. Their most famous member (Jörg Tauss, former social democrat and member of parliament) has just been convicted of possessing child porn (no surprise he is against censorship). Oh, ex-member: he left the party in order "to keep damage away from it", but I suspect that sufficient damage has been done already.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry