Facebook/Instagram: Court deliveries also permitted in German!

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Facebook cannot insist on a translation of German-language documents into English in a legal dispute with a German user. This was decided by the 7th Civil Senate of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (file number I-7 W 66/19).

In September 2018, a man from Düsseldorf obtained an injunction at the Regional Court of Düsseldorf prohibiting the Irish-based company Facebook from blocking the man for posting a specific text on Facebook or deleting the post. He had this injunction sent to Facebook without english translation. Facebook argued that the company did not understand the content and needed an English translation.

This is not the case in the 7th Civil Senate in its decision. For language comprehension, it is the organisation of the company as a whole that is important. Facebook has a large number of users in Germany, to whom the platform is made fully available in German. The contractual documents used in this process were also held in German. Concrete formulations in the terms of use could be derived from in-depth knowledge of the German language and German law.

The Senate had to deal with this question because the man from Düsseldorf claims the costs of his costs of around EUR 730. This requires the notification of the injunction. The effectiveness of this service had to be clarified by the Senate.

The content of the post, which was not to be deleted, was irrelevant to the decision.

The decision is therefore also applicable to Instagram. If you are blocked illegally on Instagram, be it as an advertiser or as a different user, you can seek legal help. There is still a risk of costs, but it is massively mitigated if no certified translation of the application or application has to be commissioned.


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Written by Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel specializes in the areas of competition law, copyright law and IT/IP law and specializes in computer games, sports, marketing and streamers/influencers. He supports start-ups in their development, assists them with all legal problems and supports them in business development.

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