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Misquote on the Internet? 10,000 euros in damages possible!

The press chamber of the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court has ruled that a blog post must not give the impression that Renate Künast, a member of the Bundestag for the Alliance 90/The Greens, has made statements:

“Comma, if there’s no violence involved, sex with children is okay after all.”

This quote is wrong. Also the statement

“K thinks child fucking is ok as long as there is no violence involved”.

the judges have prohibited.

In October 2016, the defendant published an article on his blog with the headline “K finds child fucking ok as long as no violence is involved” and a picture of Renate Künast. Next to it was inserted as text: “Comma, if no violence is involved, sex with children is quite ok after all. It’s good now.”

The defendant had also misquoted Ms. Künast in a later Facebook post from March 2019. That misquote was already the subject of summary proceedings before the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court and was prohibited in a ruling by the Press Chamber on December 5, 2019.

Renate Künast was a member of the Berlin House of Representatives in 1986. During a speech by another Member of Parliament during a debate on violence against children in families, Mrs Künast made a heckling on an intermediate question from a CDU member. He had asked the other MP how she felt about a motion by the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia to lift the threat of punishment for sexual acts against children. According to the minutes of the debate, Renate Künast’s interjection was:

“Comma when there is no violence involved.”

With regard to the defendant’s blog entry from October 2016, the press chamber of the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court ruled in a further judgment on January 30, 2020, that the impression must not be created that Ms. Künast had made the quoted statement. The average reader understands the statement shown next to Ms. Künast’s portrait in the overall context as if she had explained it. This impression created by the defendant was wrong, however, because Ms. Künast had not in fact said “…sex with children is quite okay after all. Is times good now.”

The court considered the blog entry to violate the general right of personality. This justifies a monetary compensation of €10,000.

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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