Mon, Oct. 14, 2013

New Improper Business Practices Act

FW - Washington.   On October 9, 2013, a new Improper Business Practices Act called Gesetz über unseriöse Geschäftspraktiken entered into force.

The statute targets cease-and-desist letters concerning copyrights which in Germany normally trigger high legal fees charged to infringing consumers. Now these violation fees will be limited to less than 200 euros if the consumer infringes for the first time. Cease-and-desist letters must specify the owner of copyrights allegedly infringed.

The new statute also protects consumers from billing practices found in the fields of internet and telephone gaming. Some vendors call consumers with an offer to participate in a game of chance and subsequently charges them unexpected fees. In addition the act requires more transparency in collection matters. Among other changes to current law, collection letters must disclose the creditor for whom the collection effort is made.


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