Sat, Feb. 26, 2005

Anti Spam Bill in Germany

CK - Washington.   The new German anti spam bill and legislative rationale are available at, notes m.e.p.Histo-bLAWg.

The bill would amend section 7 and 12 of the Remote Services Statute, Teledienstgesetz, of July 22, 1997, Federal Gazette I, 1870 (1997).

Blog Chasing Law Mentality

CK - Washington., a law student blog, decries the demise of the curious creatures blog. That blog is gone, replaced by a farewell note stating the reason for its end: Legal threats, apparently pending for some time, relating to an entry based on material from a news magazine, SpOn, which may mean Spiegel Online.

The comments to the closing entry reveal the views of the blogger and his readers on the underlying legal issues, ranging from freedom of speech via the German requirement of publishing personal and confidential data in a diclosure statement--colloquially called impressum--to extortion by poverty-stricken lawyers for de minimis or purely formalistic alleged violations of the laws governing remote media services, which might, and probably do not, include non-commercial blogs.

The remote services statutes conflict substantially with the data protection mentality that prevails in many European countries, including Germany. Their obvious incompatibilities with the data protection statutes does not appear to have been resolved with high-level precedent. Along these lines of thinking, commenters in Germany note that bloggers may be able to afford their publishing activities only if they can also afford a strong legal department.

For prior notes on the conflict and the disclosure requirement, which in the international context may be illegal and is violative of the American ordre public, see Impressum Blackmail, Pixel Picky, and here, here, here and here.

For a pompous threat against a pompous blogger, there is an American example.

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