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BGH: NetzDG also applicable to messenger services and similar offers

This post is also available in: Deutsch

An interesting verdict comes today from the Federal Court of Justice regarding the Network Enforcement Act. In the context of an appeal against a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main, the latter ruled that a grant procedure in accordance with Paragraph 14(14) of the Case should be 3 – 5 TMG for a civil case within the meaning of Article 1(1) 1 Brussels-Ia-VO.

The reason for this is that Paragraph 14(4) of the 3 – 5 TMG is a piece of legislation which, in a democratic society, is a necessary and proportionate measure to protect the measure set out in Article 23(2) of the Convention. 1 book. j GDPR, Article 6(d). 4 GDPR.

From this, the BGH concludes that service providers within the meaning of Section 14 para. 3 TMG are all service providers within the meaning of Paragraph 2 sentence 1 no. 1 TMG, and not only social networks.

Both the Regional Court of Frankfurt and the competent Higher Regional Court refused to provide information on personal information assigned to Facebook accounts, which the applicant referred to as, among other things, the “biggest slut” and “disgrace for the family”. The Federal Court of Justice, quite surprisingly, saw the legal situation differently:

In the applicant’s favour, it must be assumed that the data protection provisions of the Telemedia Act apply to messengers (Section 1 (1), Section 11 (3) TMG; below is a).

The BGH therefore referred the proceedings in accordance with Paragraph 74(4) of the 6 Set 2 FamFG back.

If the court of appeal can convince itself that the messenger of the parties is a telemedia, it may be determined of its own motion (Section 26 et seq. FamFG) and to verify (Section 37 FamFG) whether, when and to whom of the user accounts at issue illegal content within the meaning of Section 1 para. 3 NetzDG.


The ruling could still have a huge impact on future dealings with, for example, Messenger or other platforms and services.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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