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Slander, or when the end justifies the means

Sadly, these news are dedicated to a very unpleasant topic: ZERAP Germany e.V., the association running this website, was subject to repeat acts of libel during the past weeks. Numerous people received letters with unspeakable slander, however the alleged author in whose name the letters were sent was completely oblivious as to the whole matter. This means that two crimes were committed: libel or “defamation” as the lawyers say, and identity abuse, as an attempt was made to lay the blame for that crime on a third party. We consider this behaviour truly pathetic.

The context of the libel appears to be a conflict between our board and Gunter Pauli regarding the brand “Blue Economy”. In 2009, Mr. Haastert and Ms. Kuhlemann founded and established the Blue Economy together with Gunter Pauli. 2012 a dispute ensued when the trademark was supposed to be transferred to a foundation, establishing transparent rules regarding the rights to use the term “Blue Economy”. In the context of a mediation, Pauli agreed to this step in mid-2012, but shortly after wanted to know nothing more of it. Ever since, there has been a conflict – more details can be found in this magazine article (in German).

Over the past years, both Gunter Pauli as well as several of his contacts have used the occasion of this very concrete dispute to derive the right to disseminate slander, probably out of frustration since no solution seemed in sight. Each incident was brought before the courts and the plaintiffs won every case. Unfortunately, there appears to have been no insight that lies and insults cannot be a solution (apart from the fact that they are liable to prosecution). We expressly dissociate ourselves from such conduct; if that’s what Blue Economy stands for, then we don’t want anything to do with it!

In October, the decision was taken to stop the process of establishing a foundation for the protected trademark “Blue Economy” and to place the brand ‘open source’ with the sole condition that in turn, Gunter Pauli’s texts on the matter also become open source respectively copyleft. In doing so, we hope to deprive the conflict of its basis and bring the topic to a close. Since Pauli’s contacts appear not to have heard of this proposal, it is hereby made public.

Bild: Roger W unter creative commons Lizenz