Moni vs. Transparency International – Deutschland e.V.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 3:24 | Posted in Bloggers' rights, Blogosphere, Freedom of speech, Germany | 2 Comments
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I just discovered that the story of Moni vs. Transparency International – Deutschland e.V. has now reached South America and Portuguese has been added to the languages that it has been blogged in. Osame Kinouchi in Sao Paolo writes: "Não vou escrever aqui sobre essa luta de Davi contra Golias porque a história sobre a tendinite é verdadeira e Juju minha ajudante está tomando café…"

Meanwhile in Berlin, Moni has engaged herself a counselor. And not just any counselor: she is now represented by none other than Udo Vetter, a well known blogger himself. Mr Vetter reacently represented a number of bloggers in a dispute involving Euroweb Internet GmbH. Sapere has a summary of that case in English.

Udo Vetter has posted a letter on behalf of Moni as her official response to Transparency International – Deutschland e.V. Not surprisingly, he rejects the claims of TI-D on every account and advices the counterpart that a counter claim may follow.

Mr Vetter begins his respons by pointing out that TI-D did not specify a singel detail in the disputed blog post that would have been untrue. He states that the post was truthful and suggests that the TI-D argue their case if they do not agree. As you may remember, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Marten skipped that sort of boring formalities in his letter to Moni by writing: "I am sparing myself from going into the details of this issue".

Mr Vetter goes on to expose what may hitherto be news for TI-B: "There is a freedom of press and a freedom of opinion in our country", he writes. I can imagine that TI-D is shocked when Mr. Vetter tells them that even an organisation like theirs has to put up with being the object of critical expressions. They may have thought that the right to criticism is exclusively restrained to their domain.

Udo Vetter also points out that if TI-D is under impression that it is theirs to decide what is said about them in public, they have a weird relationship with the freedom of press and opinion. He also seems to suspect that TI-D has missed something: "Is there any chance that you may have failed to notice that the edited post does not mention your organisation by name even once?", he asks.

It looks to me that a major shift of balance in this case took place on Monday. Before Monday, the Transparency International – Deutschland e.V. was the only party represented by a counselor. Now it seems that Moni is the only party represented by a competent counselor.

By the way, for those of you who read German, Robert has an exellent chronological account of the developments in this case. His analysis is adequate and most of his conclusions, in fact all of them, make sense. Good work, Robert!

Added: These conclusions by Adam Selene deserve to be echoed:

Moraleja: no te metas con un blogger.
Moraleja 2: en la era de la información no puedes
evitar los comentarios negativos, ni tratarlos con métodos del siglo
XX. Sólo puedes contrarrestarlos con otros comentarios positivos, si
eres capaz de generarlos.
Moraleja 3: para un caso que tenga que ver con la red, búscate un abogado que entienda lo que es la red.
Moraelja 4: si pretendes ser una organización
"global", y no sabes cómo funciona Internet, mejor que cierres el
chiringuito. Todo te va a ir cada vez peor.


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  1. Thanks for the mention, Larko.

    I will be following the story of Moni, first because I feel real sympathy for her, and also because I think the case involves the fundamental right of freedom of speech in the Net.

  2. So will all of us, Adam. This goes to show that watchdogs also need watchdogs. I fully agree with you that this is a matter of utmost importance for the freedom of speech.

    By the way, I really like your four “moralejas”.

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