Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sieber Munich, November 17, 1999

Dr. H.-W. Moritz, Rechtsanwalt (Attorney-at-Law)

W. Dingfelder, Rechtsanwalt (Attorney-at-Law)

 

 

 

Acquittal of Mr. Felix Somm by the Landgericht München (Regional Court of

Munich) on November 17, 1999 of the accusation of distributing publications

with child pornography

 

The defense lawyers of Mr. Felix Somm, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sieber, Dr.

Hans-Werner Moritz, Rechtsanwalt and Wolfgang Dingfelder, Rechtsanwalt,

welcome the acquittal of Felix Somm of the accusation that he was responsible

for the distribution of publications with child pornography. Finally, the

Landgericht München I clarified that the managing director of CompuServe

GmbH, Mr. Felix Somm, was not responsible for the illegal content which the

charge was based upon. Furthermore, by its judgment, the Landgericht München

I created some legal certainty for the information and communications service

industry by confirming exemption from punishment for providing access to the

Internet.

 

CompuServe's lawyer, Dr. Hans-Werner Moritz (law firm of Graf von Westphalen

Fritze & Modest), already pointed out directly after the search of the

premises of CompuServe GmbH in 1995 that CompuServe GmbH as a pure access

provider could not be held liable for content delivered by third party

providers. The lack of legal responsibility of CompuServe GmbH's managing

director as well as the lack of technical means to avoid the distribution of

content constituting a criminal offense was then shown by an extensive legal

expertise and a detailed technical analysis prepared by Prof. Dr. Ulrich

Sieber, professor-in-ordinary for criminal law and information law at the

University of Würzburg. Had the aspects stated therein been taken into

consideration, the prosecutor would not have admitted these proceedings to be

conducted before the Amtsgericht München (Local Court of Munich) and the main

proceedings against Mr. Somm should not have been conducted at all.

 

After the proceedings before the Amtsgericht München which were characterized

by numerous errors of law and which were criticized world-wide as being

unfair, the defense lawyers very much appreciate the fair and competent

conduct of the proceedings by the Landgericht München I and the Munich public

prosecution due to which now the factual and legal issues of the case could

be thoroughly clarified before the Landgericht München I and Mr. Felix Somm's

reputation could be fully restored.