Thu, Feb. 15, 2007

Guide to German Online Law

CK - Washington.   The intrusive German online statute has been extensively revised in January. Based on the assumption that consumers are idiots, the statute requires numerous burdensome disclosures from active users of the Internet. Except for the Internet-savvy Supreme Court, courts have been racing to construe the old statute as requiring identifying disclosures not only from product and service vendors.

They--and accompanying Internet lore--expand the reach of the statute to submit also non-commercial forums, informational sites and bloggers to its reach. Essentially, they ask that all who present anything on the Internet throw their personal identifying information to the sharks, such as phishers and stalkers.

The revised statute, Telemediengesetz 2007, consolidates and updates various laws. There is speculation that it may lead to even more cease-and-desist actions for even the most minor infractions. A well-known German blogger, Arne Trautmann, Esq. of the Law-Blog, is readying a guide to be published soon as iBusiness TMG-Leitfaden--Das Neue Telemediengesetz 2007. Based on the quality of Trautmann's blog, the handbook should be a valuable resource for any active Internet participant, and a must for vendors targeting consumers in Germany.

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