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Streamers and airtime restrictions? KJM declares JusProg ineffective

In its meeting today, the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) determined that the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Dienstleister e.V. (Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers) had failed in its suitability assessment of the program “JusProg” as a program for the protection of minors pursuant to Section 11 Para. 1 Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV) exceeded the legal limits of its discretionary powers. The KJM therefore rejected the FSM’s assessment of the suitability of the program “JusProg” as a program for the protection of minors pursuant to Section 19b (1). 2 sentence 1 JMStV unanimously declared invalid. Due to the special public interest, the immediate enforcement of the measure was decided.

The KJM is convinced that the FSM should have taken into account in its suitability test the fact that the program “JusProg” does not cover significant parts of the use of media content by minors, as it is designed exclusively for Windows PCs with Chrome browsers. At the same time, however, providers are comprehensively privileged by the recognition of suitability – they can distribute their age-marked offerings without any other safeguards, even though it is not possible to read the age markings on the mobile devices and operating systems most commonly used by children and young people.

This means that media offerings that previously used a label for Jusprog will have to revert to other technical means of verifying age in the future. Here, however, things like identity card checks would definitely suffice. So no one has to worry about a PostIdent + parental control PIN for Twitch. If they can’t or don’t want to do that, they have to – again – set different broadcast times for different content. Especially for streamers on portals like Twitch, YouTube, Smashcast, and other esports streaming services, this might be very difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Jusprog was often used here for good reason. This is particularly relevant for computer games or other content from 16 or even 18. Broadcasting these without JusProg and without the streaming providers’ own functions is likely to be at least a risk. Although the KJM is willing to talk, which is why no short-term fines are expected, the usability and – perhaps also – the reach of some streamers could suffer in the future. However, the latter is apparently also an effect that the KJM wants to achieve. In addition, it is to be expected that the FSM will take legal action against the KJM’s decision; in such administrative law proceedings, if a court were to have doubts about the KJM’s decision, or if it were to recognize the problems of the sudden elimination ofs JusProg for providers, it could restore the suspensive effect of an action. We will have to wait and see in the coming weeks and months.

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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