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Imprint obbligations for streamers associated with esports teams?

Introduction

Today is here on the blog the day of legal questions around the imprint. Hence a quick answer today about what or who needs to be included in a streamer’s imprint when it streams for an esport team.

Even if there are voices from time to time, whether, for example, twitch or mixerreally has an imprint obligation, I consider the discussion about this, if at all, to be academic. I could never advise a client to forgo an imprint.

But what content must the imprint have?

In principle, the name and first name of the site operator or the user of the social media profile and its full address must be available. Also e-mail address, telephone number and, if applicable, fax number. In the case of companies, the legal form, the representatives, information on the register entry and, if available, the VAT ID number. added.

So far, so simple. Every streamer should get that. But what if, for example, as a streamer you work exclusively or for most of the time for an esport team and are paid by it, for example? Does the imprint then have to contain the data of the streamer or the esport team?

The question is not easy to answer and I am not aware of any judgments in Germany. In my opinion, however, the solution can be derived from the law. In the case of Section 5 TMG from the first sentence,

Service providers shall keep the following information easily recognizable, directly accessible and permanently available for business telemedia generally offered against payment:

Contents of the imprint?

So it depends on who exactly is the provider of the stream. This depends on the contractual connections between the esport team and the streamer. If there is only one cooperation agreement (possibly only concluded orally or in text form), the streamer himself is responsible for the contents on the stream, the imprint must contain the data of the streamer.

However, if the streamer is under contract with the team as an employee or if the contract between the team and the streamer gives the team (or the company behind it) all rights to determine the content of the stream, such as sponsored content, “It is assumed that the team is in fact a service provider,” or regularly cast matches. Then all data of the team/organization must be included in the imprint or at least linked to the imprint of the team(see this post). This then includes all the content about the company behind the team, managing director, capital endowment, register entries and much more. If only the streamer were to be included in the imprint, the imprint would be wrong in this case and could be admonished.

Since there is hardly anything easier than an imprint warning, errors can quickly become expensive at this point. This is particularly true if we then quickly sign unhappy declarations of injunctions. If the contractual situation of the streamer changes somewhat in the future, contractual penalties in the mid-four-digit range could sometimes quickly be threatened.

In conclusion, therefore, it must always be checked who really has an influence on the streaming content, whether in fact or contractually.

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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.

Phone

03322 5078053

E‑mail

info@rahaertel.com