Stadtplandienst vs. Me

2007 / 2008, experimental intervention, Joachim Stein in collaboration with Hans Finckh and (involuntarily) Meissner & Meissner Lawyers


Despite knowing of their aggressive way of defending copy right, I used Stadtplandienst.de, a german map service in my tautological exercise # 1, “Running Myself“. I mostly chose it for its official sounding name which was more important to me than the the service itself. It was a conscious choice to use Stadtplandienst and not Google Maps, which offered a more complete service for free.

In November 2007 I received a letter from Stadtplandienst’s lawyers, asking me to pay a €225,00 license fees for using the map.

On April 1, 2008 (this is no joke) a hearing took place at Amtsgericht Charlottenburg. I defended myself arguing that my artistic freedom was compromised if i was not allowed to use Stadtplandienst the way I did and that my artistic freedom was more important than the copyright claimed by Stadtplandienst.

Based on the english translation of a transcript, the courtroom scene was filmed in Second Life using synthetic voices, mildly modified standard avatars and a 3D model of a courtroom loosely inspired by Amtsgericht Charlottenburg.

Downloads (correspondence with Meissner & Meissner lawyers):

  1. Letter by Meissner & Meissner, copyright violation (PDF, German, 2.1 MB)
  2. example decision (PDF, 3.6MB)
  3. declaration of discontinuance (prepared form, PDF, German, 5.7MB)
  4. declaration of discontinuance modified (PDF, German, 5.7MB)

Please also see: Pecha Kucha Presentation July 29 2008 – Stadtplandienst vs Me