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H.P. Hager sues "kaufhaus-bozen.bz" on behalf of the Signa Holding

Bolzano, 8-03-2016

On the 20th january 2016 the satirical website "kaufhaus-bozen.bz" receives a penal order from the courthouse of Bolzano: the charge is "copyright infringement with the intent to mislead" users and the penalty to pay is set at 2000 €.

The ACCUSATION

Just to make things clear: kaufhaus-bozen.bz has been a satirical parody site (marked as such) since its beginning on 2nd march 2015. It was set up by a small group of activists in order to stimulate a critical discussion in relation to a real estate projekt that will change the face of the city of Bolzano in the years to come. Many inhabitants are still uninformed about many important aspects of the "kaufhaus" project which is why we chose satire as a tool to bring things up.

This page does neither contain any images or contents copied from the original site "kaufhaus-bozen.com" nor are there any aspects of originality that exceed usual web standarts (white backgronud and gray-tones, header, menu, image gallery, responsive columns, footer). There is no trademark "kaufhaus-bozen" registered in Italy or any other country ("kaufhaus" is a generic commercial classification and "Bozen" is just the name of the city). It was surprising for us to discover that there have been charges against us for more than a year - without ever receiving a letter from the lawyers of Signa-Holding.

THE LAWSUIT OF THE KHB

After searching a lawyer and submitting official objection to the penal order (that means there will be a real trial to settle this case) we finally got hold of the original lawsuit that caused the whole procedure. It was submitted by Heinz Peter Hager, the official representative of Renè Benko in Bolzano and head of the subsidiary "KHB" of Benko's SIGNA HOLDING, early on the 13th march 2015. The original accuse of Hager was "defamation and copyright infringement". The accuse of defamation is basically motivated by the fact that this site links to google search results that among other things mention the definitive conviction of Renè Benko for corruption. There is no penal order for defamation because the judges didn't share the view of Benko that linking to a real fact documented by the newspapers constitutes "defamation". However, we find it right to publish the whole text of Hager's accusations and not to leave it uncommented.

The original intention of Benko becomes evident within the last pages of the lawsuit:

we ask the prosecutors to proceed with the immediate seizure/closure of the site kaufhaus-bozen.bz for reasons of preemptive protection Hager's demand (translated from italian)

WE TAKE NOTE OF THE FACT THAT

MAKING SENSE OF IT

For us there are two possible solution: either Benko thinks that the inhabitants of Bolzano are too stupid to understand satire or the content of kaufhaus-bozen.bz is not so far from reality (we would prefer not to believe it). Only this way we can explain to us how there is so much fear about mistaking kaufhaus-bozen.bz for the "serious" site kaufhaus-bozen.com despite the paradox contents and absurd renderings. A fear so big that Benko openly asks the authorities to censor our site (but, to our knowledge, they didn't comply). We have no choice other than not to discourage ourselves and to fight for our rights in the courtroom.

For any further information, you can write at:

presse at kaufhaus-bozen.bz

Many thanks to everybody who supports us and shares this story. We remain to available for any question or clarification. Who wants to help us with the legal costs can click the pink paypal-button:

Thank you all

the activists of kaufhaus-bozen.bz

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