Business as usual

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 9:32 | Posted in Blogosphere, ethics, Germany, internet, Legal | Leave a comment

Marcel Bartels writes that he has signed a legal document to satisfy the real estate business man Andreas Kodsi who sued him for this blog post. Marcel must make substantial cuts in the disputed and a couple of other posts. He also commits not to link to or spread information published in the domain

As I wrote here and here, Mr Kodsi won a trial in Hamburg against the German branch of Google. The court ruled that Google must manually edit all search result previews on searches related to him. Fighting Google is one thing but why would a millionaire real estate dealer sue a “little guy”?

The Internet is a powerful tool. It gives the ordinary guy access to global information in a way that we could not even dream about for some 15 years ago. It also provides businesses an opportunity to fulfill marketing strategies that are cheaper, more flexible and more effective than ever before. If you want to spread your information, the Web is the place to spread it.

Now, why would a succesful business man explicitly mouth gag a blogger from publishing info and link to a business forum whose goal is to expose and object rip-off and cheat? Why would an honest business man force the very mirror of the Web, Google, to filter what is reflected in the mirror about him? Would it be because many of those search results include words and expressions like Schrottimobilien, Mitternachtsnotare and Immobilienbetrug? Or is there a major conspiracy going on in the World Wide Web with participation of the Google, business forums and bloggers against this unfortunate business man?

Lawyer Renate G Binder explains here some of the aggressive marketing methods in the real estate market. These have caused many people in Germany to make hasty and ill informed decisions and buy heavily over rated real estate objects, so called junk properties. A more thorough presentation of the theme is here.

While the Binder § Beier legal web site does not mention names of businesses that are known or suspected to use the methods they describe, those methods are remarkably similar to methods connected to Andreas Kodsi and his company Die Dienstleister by is the domain that Mr. Kodsi’s lawyers mouth gagged Marcel from linking to or publishing their information. Why would an honest business man want to do that?

Marcel Bartels can not afford a legal battle against an angry multi millionaire. German websites do not dare publish his name. Google is forced to venture their integrity by introducing same sort of a censorship in Germany as they and others conduct in China.

Is this a bad dream? Or is it just business as usual?

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