The original version of "Liebe ist Für Alle Da" ("Love is For All") by the German hard rock group Rammstein is no longer banned from public display in German stores.
The 11-track Universal album may again be advertised and sold to young people and children under the age of 18 years. The ruling was made by the administrative court in Cologne in an intermediate order.
The court reversed the ruling of the German Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People (BPjM) in Bonn of November 2009 (Billboard.biz, Nov. 9). In its ruling of November the office had stated that the track "Ich tu Dir Weh" ("I Want to Hurt You") could be harmful to children and young people because of its glorification of violence and unprotected sexual intercourse, and that album artwork showing Rammstein's guitarist Richard Kruspe with a naked woman on his knees breached the provisions of the German Youth Protection Act.
The court in Cologne stated that it was illegal to put the album with the song and the artwork on the restricted list. According to the court, the song "Ich tu Dir Weh" does not contain a detailed and real description of violence and only contains a surrealistic hint at violence.
The court also pointed out that the BPjM did not explain in its decision why the description of sadism and masochism in songs could be harmful for the sexual development of young people.
In November 2009 Universal re-released the Rammstein album without the song and the artwork. Universal filed suit against the ban in December 2009 at the administrative court in Cologne and demanded an intermediate order to sell the original album again.
The BPjM now has the option to appeal against the court's order at the higher administrative court in Münster. The proceedings will then take at least six months. During that period the album in its original version may be sold. Thomas Salzmann, legal affairs of the BPjM, commented: "We will certainly continue with the legal proceedings."
Lawyer Peer Boris Schade, of the law firm Lichte in Hamburg who represents Universal Music Germany in Berlin, said: "Despite the fact that the album 'Liebe ist Für Alle Da' was top in the album charts and the band was just starting their European tour, the BPjM decided the case without considering important aspects."
He added that Universal will continue to challenge any legal moves by the BPjM "no matter how long the proceedings will take."