German (Bavarian) Compuserve official actually found guilty (!)

Rohit Khare (
Thu, 28 May 1998 10:18:08 -0700

Those wacky Bavarians... (it's the most conservative of the states)

Thx to Joseph for the initial clipping.

------- Forwarded Message

Ex-CompuServe Executive Convicted=20

Thursday, May 28, 1998; 10:17 a.m. EDT

MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- In a closely watched case about controlling the
Internet, the former head of CompuServe Germany was convicted Thursday of
being an accessory in the distribution of pornography -- even though
prosecutors had argued at the end for his acquittal.=20

The pilot case against Felix Somm began as an attempt by German prosecutors
to hold CompuServe, based in Columbus, Ohio, and other Internet-access
providers responsible for the material they relay.=20

But in their closing arguments, Munich prosecutors reversed themselves and
asked the court to acquit former CompuServe boss Felix Somm, agreeing with
his defense that it was unreasonable to have expected him to block illegal
material with the technology then available.=20

Nevertheless, the Munich district court convicted Somm, sentenced him to two
years probation and ordered him to pay $57,000 to charity.=20

Judge Wilhelm Hubbert said CompuServe had let ``protecting the young ...
take second place to maximizing profits'' and he wanted his verdict to deter
other Internet-access providers from following that path.=20

Federal lawmaker Joerg Tauss of the opposition Social Democrats called the
verdict ``a catastrophe'' that would serve ``to ruin the Internet in