"Impressum" on websites in Germany

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Artist's contact data, not yours. The name and address they're registered for with their business, their UStID if applicable, email address they can be reached through. Telephone number is debatable according to below.

 

See here for official guidelines (in German). They also include what kind of sites apply and of course caution towards including one.

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Thanks for the link,

 

seems that PO box is not enough,

 

Is there no way of not providing her home address on a website?

Can i take responsibility for the website as the content creator, put it in my name and list my non-german address since I'm creating all the content?

 

There is no business if this makes a difference (freelance)

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The only way of not putting a home address up would be for her to operate out of an office and give that address instead. But that would require renting an office.

 

As a freelancer I don't really like having my address on the web for every tom, dick or harry to find - but I'm stuck with it.

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I'm thinking of having a "visiting card"-type website (one page only) done sometime. Do I need an "Impressum"?

 

I realise that I will need contact data for prospective clients but do I need things like German Income Tax No and/or VAT No.?

 

For the record I'm a freelancer.

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Hello TTers.

 

I have a blog about cycling which is reasonably well read. It's on a co.uk domain and is hosted by 1and1.co.uk

 

Now I'm living in Germany and writing from there, and I also have Google Adsense ads on there that have earned me a grand total of £2.50 in a month.

 

Anyway, I was talking to a bit of a strange chap yesterday and he said that I needed to have an Impressum page with my address now I was in Germany. He then threatened to shop me to a lawyer and they would (apparently) get 3,000€ out of me as I am technically a journalist if I am earning money from it.

 

I thought it rather weird as the blog is UK based and doesn't have my real name (or address) anywhere on it. This is partly on purpose because I am not particularly keen to advertise the address where two expensive bikes are available!

 

The easy answer is to remove the Google Adsense so it is a non-earning site, although I note a German blogger has an Impressum page although he earns nothing on his site. Does anyone know the real genuine situation? If I have to add the Impressum info (don't know specifically what I need) then I will, but I haven't yet ever linked my real name with the Auntie Helen blog and would rather not do so if I can avoid it.

 

Thanks!

 

Auntie Helen

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how about a fake address or an accidental typo to go with the fake name? :ph34r:

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Im Jahr 1530 wurde eine allgemeine Impressumspflicht erstmals in Deutschland eingeführt.

German Wikipedia

 

Impressum is obligatory for "geschäftsmäßige, in der Regel gegen Entgelt angebotene Telemedien". So if you are not a bike shop owner and this is just a hobby you can argue that your blog is not a business-like media, thus no Impressum is obligatory.

 

http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/tmg/__5.html

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Germany, a country otherwise obsessed with privacy, requires all website owners to publish their name, address and (if offering a service) telephone number and email address on their website on an Impressum page. (But no, we can't have Street View, that would be an invasion of our privacy!)

 

According to this site, your blog requires your name and address. Not because of Adsense, but because in your case you are reaching out to a wider audience than immediate friends and family. If you don't have one, one of Germany's self-appointed cease-and-desist arseholes (Abmahner) may find the website and send you letters demanding compensation for inflicting huge losses on their business (a lawyer's letter in return usually shuts them up).

 

In your case I would be minded to give a false address, since I don't think anyone actually makes the effort to check.

 

I recall reading some time ago that it was the place of publication rather than the domain name that is the deciding factor. If however you are publishing in English on a .co.uk domain then the chance of a German Abmahner finding you is close to zero (not least as without a postal or email address he won't know where to send his letter to in the first place).

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Another link discussing blogs and Impressum:

http://www.copypastelove.de/2013/04/braucht-mein-blog-ein-impressum.html

 

It seems that there is no any court verdict to refer to, thus it is recommended to put an Impressum "to be on a safe side".

 

However solution is to host blogs outside Germany, then no internet provider will give "Abmahner" your address because of such bullshit.

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Anyway, I was talking to a bit of a strange chap yesterday and he said that I needed to have an Impressum page

 

moral to this story - you should never talk to strangers.

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solution is to host blogs outside Germany, then no internet provider will give "Abmahner" your address because of such bullshit.

 

I have a German-language website with a .com address hosted in the USA and had an Abmahner giving it a go (unsuccessfully).

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I find this impression thingee so fucking ridiculous its not even funny! One of my German friends explained that it is absolute necessary for the protection of the visitors to your site. Uhmm wait what? I can understand where this logic is coming from (in case the content could influence the actions of the reader etc etc), but hey what about the protection of the publisher?

 

For an innocent personal blog, one have to put out all the private info, including address, phone number! This is just one of those incomprehensibly senseless things that I have hard time getting my head around!

 

BTW Auntie Helen, you can put an adsense disclaimer on your site instead of removing it. I don't have it on mine, however when I was researching, I came across many sites with monetizing disclaimers for adsense, amazon and other affiliate links.

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but hey what about the protection of the publisher?

Disclosing personal information does not endanger the publisher. At least not according to German law. In Germany address and personal data are public: doorbells and mailboxes have names of the owner, Melderegister is public (you need some money and ID to get info from there though), for telephones there is a telephone book.

 

Such publicity has advantages and disadvantages. Assumption that bike thieves are searching blogs to find where to steal another bike is paranoia. More likely bike manufacturers will do such a search to see if someone publishes negative review of their bike. Then they send a lawyer who uses Impressum to find how to sue you.

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An Impressum needs to be on your blog. Luckily there are some sample Impressums that you can put on your blog with a mandatory link to their website.

One example of such a Impressum generator is http://www.e-recht24.de/impressum-generator.html

Also be aware that you might have to alert people that you are tracking them with e.g. Google Analytics.

I am not really sure if all websites need to have an Impressum or only the ones that you earn money with.

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Thanks for reminding about another stupidity of German internet law: you are by default responsible not only for contents of your website, but also for content of external web pages you link to.

 

To avoid this responsibility you have to write in the Impressum something in the lines of "Keine Haftung für externen Webseiten". This was decided by some stupid Landesgericht who doesn't know how the Internet works.

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There was a whole package of measures from existing legislation wrapped up as a bundle to form the Telemediengesetz in 2007 rsp. 2010. 15 - 20 yrs ago, when it was in the planning stages, I do remember reading in one or two German techie magazines long articles about the legal arguments. I don't remember the details but in effect one argument by the bricks & mortar business lobbies was that by not posting clear warnings about this, that and t'other (as high street shops must do) their internet competitors were exploiting an unfair competitive advantage.

 

 

The Telemediengesetz ("Telemedia Act") requires that German websites must disclose information about the publisher, including their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company.[7] German websites are defined as being published by individuals or organisations that are based in Germany, so an Impressum is required regardless of whether a site is in the .de domain.

 

This law has created privacy concerns for individuals who maintain blogs or personal homepages.[8][9][10] The law has also caused lawyers to scrutinise websites for this information and send cease-and-desist letters to their maintainers in case it is missing.[11][12]

 

My bolds

 

As mentioned by others, including a notice of denial of responsibility for external links has been a standard for a number of years. Unless, like the BBC, all inbound content is held back before publishing until manually moderated the operator of any forum or blog which allows the public access to make posts or add comments could otherwise be in trouble if their site was spammed by posts containing links to sites encouraging criminal/terrorist/treasonable/nazi/racist/sexist/etc content.

 

Here's one I stole prepared earlier.

Haftungshinweis: Trotz sorgfältiger inhaltlicher Kontrolle übernehmen wir keine Haftung für die Inhalte externer Links. Für den Inhalt der verlinkten Seiten sind ausschließlich deren Betreiber verantwortlich.

 

Liability notice: Despite careful control of content I/we cannot assume any liability for the content of external links. The operators of any linked websites are solely responsible for their own content.

 

2B

 

ETA:§ 5 Allgemeine Informationspflichten

Extract from TMG §16 Bußgeldvorschriften

 

 

2) Ordnungswidrig handelt, wer vorsätzlich oder fahrlässig

1. entgegen § 5 Abs. 1 eine Information nicht, nicht richtig oder nicht vollständig verfügbar hält,

3) Die Ordnungswidrigkeit kann mit einer Geldbuße bis zu fünfzigtausend Euro geahndet werden. § 5 General information requirements

Extract from TMG § 16 Fines

2) An administrative offense is commited by any person who willfully or negligently

1 contrary to § 5 paragraph 1 keeps information, incorrectly or incompletely available

3) The offense may be punished by a fine of up to fifty thousand euros.

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If it's a personal blog for family and friends it can stay anonymous. If your target group is aimed at a larger audience, even if you're not operating it commercially, you have to include your name and address.

 

 

If you read on you will find this information, too ...

 

 

Denn für “Geschäftsmäßigkeit” müssen keine Abo-Gebühren oder ähnliches kassiert werden – es reichen schon Werbebanner oder andere Formen der Werbung auf Eurem Blog.

... which means that even displaying advertesing banners or any type of advertising requires an Impressum on your blog.

 

I've got a dog and cat blog, mainly aimed at family and friends, no banners, no advertising, but naturally it reaches a wider audience. I've got nothing to hide, and I've included my name, my hometown and my email address, but I could have kept it anonymous, if I had wanted to.

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Thanks for the merge Mods - I wasn't able to find a suitable thread but I thought there must have been one somewhere!

 

Anyway, I think on balance I will put an Impressum on the blog. I may not give my full name and might slightly fudge the address, or is this a worse thing to do? It just seems weird to give the address of where my expensive bikes live!

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It just seems weird to give the address of where my expensive bikes live!

 

Well there is a precedent for that:

 

A few years back when the media combined with panicy officials decided that small private planes were a major threat to German nuclear power stations they set up danger zones around each one - the result being that the exact coordinates of every nuclear power station are now published for all to read!

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Just add name, address, email, phone number etc. no big deal :lol:

 

Auntie Helen Blog

Auntie Helen Blog street 111

Auntie Helen Blog town

 

notreally@auntiehelenblog.co

 

+49 1234 5678 toll free :o

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