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Influencer: Federal Government wants to create new regulation

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Although the case law around influencers is currently subject to a clear trend, which can be clearly seen in various posts on the blog, the uncertainty is still great. This applies above all with regard to the demarcation to non-labelling content.

That is why the Federal Government is now planning a new legal regulation on the subject.

The State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice expresses himself on ZDF as populist, but quite unclear about how exactly a regulation should look.

“The fact that contributions that are paid must be labelled as advertising is a matter of course and must continue to be made in the future,” Billen explained. “But when things are posted that are not in return, we can create legal certainty by not labeling everything and everything as advertising for fear of warning.”

Unfortunately, this sentence is a platitude or a zero number, because the previous judgments are not based on a misguided legal opinion of some Higher Regional Courts, but rather on a rather successful subsumption of the facts.

So it is a common misconception that content should be labelled without any commercial intention and without any consideration. On the contrary, the vast majority of courts ruled that such content should be labelled, which is produced with commercial intent (including as a demarcation from, for example, editorial content), and that, in this case, it would be irrelevant whether a specific content should be in return for the individual mail. Content that has no consideration, does not serve the attention to acquire other advertisers, or which may be a mere expression of opinion on political events or a truly neutral assessment, is, of course, still not to be Feature. An influencer, streamer or an esports team who does not understand this difference or even got it wrong (which I have experienced often enough in the last few months) should quickly change the consultant, because one may be going into further liability risks.

It is precisely this difference, namely that the labeling is NOT solely dependent on the concrete consideration – and, by the way, has never been in all media – that is something that is not only difficult to summarize in a clear law, but which has legal ramifications in a variety of regulations. This begins in the media law on broadcasting law and ends with the protection of minors.

If and when a law comes, of which even excellent can ask, whether one needs it AND, whether it can limit the Abmahnrisiko, is therefore unclear. I can still only recommend taking an experienced lawyer as an influencer or streamer who can massively reduce the risk and provide a guide. Alternatively, you should take a look at the guidelines of the state media authorities, which I reported on in this post.

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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