Judges occasionally make decisions that actually make sense (the common kind), even in Germany. A lower court’s absurd decision against someone who had been reproducing what were clearly anti-Nazi symbols on the grounds that they were, uh, pro-Nazi symbols, has been overturned (thanks Hindemith) in Karlsruhe.

The owner of a mail-order Internet site who sold merchandise bearing crossed-out swastikas, clearly at home on the left-wing of the political spectrum (and that’s the nice way of putting it), has been cleared of his ridiculous and costly conviction. The judges came to the startling (not) conclusion that there is no danger that these items could be sold or misused by neo-Nazi groups. Germany of course prohibits the reproduction of Nazi symbols except for “educational and scientific purposes.” This may or may not be a good idea, but that’s another matter.

The initial verdict imposed a fine of around $5000 and had the guy’s merchandise confiscated. Yesterday’s verdict has ordered compensation, also for legal costs and any damages for the goods confiscated from the man.

And speaking of symbols, it looks like the educational and scientific image I put up in yesterday’s post was also taken to be pro-Nazi – a Hitler satire in the year 2007? Only this time it was an American company (Photobucket blocked it, at least for a time). Hmmm. Common sense is hard to find wherever you look these days, it seems. Even in this new virtual world we’re building, or especially there.

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