Cease and desist hunters ready for kick offTuesday, February 27, 2007 at 1:54 | Posted in Blogosphere, Germany, internet, Legal | 1 Comment
I wrote in May 2006 about the German rule known as Impressumspflicht which is a legal term defining what sort of contact and other personal information the owner of any web site, including a blogger, must publish in the web. The rules were complexed enough back then and they are not getting easier to handle. Telepolis has a long and profound (as in Deutsche Gründlichkeit) article (which I detected via Schott’s Blog) about new Impressum rules as from 1st March, that is in two days.
Although I have a cup of fresh coffee at hand, I almost fell asleep before rolling half way down the page. I do not blame Telepolis for being boring, it is just that a person in their normal wits can not understand legislators who come up with such totally unnecessary regulation and manage to make it too complicated to be explained in short terms. This is bound to become a gold mine for malicious lawyers using cease and desist letter as a spam instrument.
If there is a short term gain for the grey area of legal business, the German society is bound to loose a lot in the long term. Who would bother to have their Internet presence in a judicial jungle when everybody knows that the web can not be regulated this way? Any innovative web 2.0. business initiative that could eventually boost the German economy would have an interest to establish a presence outside the German jurisdiction.
Two options remain for an individual blogger who is not a lawyer or well orientated in the judicial terrain. To continue their presence under a .de domain, trying to comply with the new rules best as they can and hope not to catch the gready eye of a cease and desist hunter. Or to establish an anonymous presence either under an off shore domain and server or using free blog hosting services such as Blogger or WordPress.