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German court rules that TV ad blockers are not illegal

As reported by German media site DWDL.de, the top federal court has ruled that a controversial gadget called the 'Fernsehfee' - TV Fairy - which automatically switches TV channel when adverts appear is not illegal.

Germany's major commercial broadcaster RTL had brought an action claiming the gadget contravened its freedom to compete in the broadcasting market by switching TV sets to another ad-free channel whenever adverts appeared in RTL's programming.

RTL enjoys advertising revenues of around a billion Euros annually and saw the device as compromising its commercial operations as advertisers would be less inclined to pay for adverts knowing that audiences would have TV sets that automatically switched over whenever they appeared.

The court ruled that the gadget did not constitute an illegal restraint on RTL's trade and competitiveness.

The Fernsehfee automatically switched back to the programme you were watching once the ad break is over - seems like a good thing!

Hospital sued for privacy invasion after staff take photo of unconscious patient's private parts

As reported by Reuters, a displeased patient has filed a lawsuit against a Denver hospital after staff took a picture of his genitalia while he lay unconscious in the emergency treatment room.

35 year old Gergory Bradford was being treated for a cracked skull when hospital workers decided - for reasons best known to themselves - to expose his private parts and take a photo with his own digital camera.

Clearly this was an unwelcome invasion of Mr Bradford's privacy though he has got a memento - and evidence - from his ordeal.