GERMANY - Huch Medien GmbH, operator of adult site Amateurstar.de, has filed for expedited proceedings at the District Court of Frankfurt to force Arcor, Germany's second-largest telecommunications company, to block Google.de and Google.com, Heise Online reported.
In light of Germany's Youth Protection Act, Huch Medien claims Google Images shows pornographic content without age verification.
Huch Medien said in a published interview that it will not simply sit back and watch Google's image search display pornographic images to users of all ages who enter search terms such as "porn," "fuck" or "oral sex." The company claims that even images of "animal pornography," which is illegal, can be viewed via the search engine.
The filing, made available to news organizations online, outlines Huch Medien's suspicion of "systematically committed felonies on the websites Google.de and Google.com." Huch Medien claims that Arcor is aiding and abetting Google in its "horrible breaches committed on these terrible websites."
Huch Medien claims to have reported the matter to Arcor on Nov. 20 and given the company time to block the adult websites linked to Google. Huch Medien says Arcor didn't respond to its report or its attorney's formal demand to cease and desist.
According to Heise Online, the principal liability privileges for providers specified in the German Telemedia Act do not apply to the demand that Google be blocked. This falls under the jurisdiction of the German Supreme Court's ruling on calls to cease and desist, Heise Online reported.
The German Supreme Court pointed out a passage in the German Telemedia Act, specifying that providers are required to remove or block the use of information that could breach general laws, even if the service supplier is not responsible for the content.
Huch Medien contends that Germany's Youth Protection Act, a top priority in German constitutional law, must be upheld in this case. Additionally, Huch Medien argues that competition law must be applied and those participating in this type of injustice by neglecting their duty to examine content must be punished.
Tobias Huch, executive director of Huch Medien, told Heise Online that he wants the court to state how far liability exemption goes.
"The court needs to tell us whether the German way is the only way," he said. "If Germany blocks such sites as YouPorn because they violate one law, then we theoretically would have to also block all of the other websites that violate the EU law that calls for publication of certain legal information about the website's operator. These are regulations generally violated by personal mom-and-pop websites."
If Germany sets up such a legal system, Huch said, "we should not complain when China blocks a large number of websites."