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Music biz serves writ on German IT site

Cannot publish links to CD protection-busting outfit

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German IT site Heise Online has received a writ preventing it from publishing links to Slysoft.com, a company that advertises software that can play, copy and rip protected audio CDs.

The writ was served on Heise Zeitschriften Verlag last Friday by Munich law firm Waldorf on behalf of a number of major record companies: EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner. The publisher is accused of violating the German Copyright Act, which forbids the advertising of products that circumvent copy protection. Heise is also held responsible for providing "instructions on how to get around anti-piracy measures".

Heise Zeitschriften Verlag rejects all the charges. "The article the companies refer to contains neither instructions, nor advertising," the company said in a statement.

"The press would be charged with grand theft every time it reports the truth about how users should not rely on safety locks that are misleadingly advertised as impenetrable," editor-in-chief Christian Persson added.

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