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Corona/Covid-19: Social Distancing on the Internet and in Esports

This post is also available in: Deutsch

The federal government today announced a new tightening of the Corona measures, which will apply to many operators of websites, mobile apps and Esport titles from 15:00 ready.

In order to comply with the imposed “social distancing”, from this date operators of online forums, chats or other communities, among others, must ensure that no more than 15% of users can visit a website at the same time, as has been the case on average since January 01, 2020. This is to prevent users from getting too close to each other on websites and infecting each other with viruses.

In addition, website operators must offer a preview page where you can download and install an antivirus program beforehand. The antivirus program must be installed by the user to offer a community website.

The Covid-04012029-WTF regulation provides for fines of up to 80 euros per over-permitted user for non-compliance. A warning by competitors is also conceivable if the regulation is ignored.

Even though it is not directly written in the text of the regulation, an interpretation shows that this probably also applies to game apps in which more than two people play against each other at the same time. The only exception is probably a solo game. The German government, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), is thus probably concretizing its statement that people should play more computer games during the period of a Covid 19 isolation. Critics accused the WHO that this statement contrasts with statements from last year that computer games would have a high risk of addiction; single-player games, however, can precisely not be addictive.

This also affects all esport games in which more than two people are on a playing field at the same time. CS:GO, League of Legends, but also DOTA or Call of Duty may therefore no longer be played in Germany with immediate effect. Hearthstone or Clash Royale might still be possible, since only two people compete against each other. In Fortnite, I guess Epic has to make sure that players can only use weapons that can hit from more than 10 meters away.

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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