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The impact of the rulings of the OLG Celle and the LG Hannover on online coaching services

The Distance Learning Protection Act (FernUSG) and its application to entrepreneurs

The Distance Learning Protection Act (FernUSG) was originally introduced to protect consumers in distance learning. It ensures that consumers have all the information they need to make an informed decision about their participation in a distance learning course. However, the OLG Celle and the Regional Court of Hanover recently ruled that the FernUSG also applies to entrepreneurs. This represents a significant expansion of the Act’s reach and has potential implications for various business models, particularly in the area of online coaching.

The decisions of the OLG Celle and the Regional Court of Hanover extend the protection of the FernUSG to entrepreneurs, including self-employed persons and small businesses, who use distance learning or online coaching services. This means that these entrepreneurs now enjoy the same rights and protections as consumers. You have the right to receive complete and accurate information about the course, costs and conditions of participation. If this information is not provided, contractors could refuse to pay for these services.

For providers of distance learning and online coaching services, this means that they must adapt their business models, content, and contracts to comply with the FernUSG regulations. They must ensure that they provide the necessary information and respect the rights of their customers, whether consumers or entrepreneurs. Otherwise, they could face significant financial risks if customers refuse to pay.

In addition, providers of distance learning and online coaching services may need to apply for approval under the Distance Learning Services Act (FernUSG) in order to legally offer their services. Without such approval, they could face legal consequences.

These decisions have far-reaching implications for the business models of distance learning and online coaching service providers. It is therefore important that they are aware of the impact of these decisions on their business and take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the law.

The judgments of the OLG Celle and the LG Hannover and their impact on online coaching services

The rulings of the OLG Celle and the LG Hannover have far-reaching implications for the online coaching industry. They challenge the business models of many online coaches and could result in online coaching service providers having to adapt their services and contractual bases to meet the requirements of the FernUSG.

However, it is important to note that the ruling of the Hanover Regional Court is not legally binding and that the application of the FernUSG to entrepreneurs may well be interpreted differently. Some legal experts argue that the FernUSG was designed specifically to protect consumers, not entrepreneurs. Therefore, the law may be interpreted differently in the future, depending on further court decisions and possible changes in the law.

Furthermore, the application of the FernUSG to entrepreneurs could also depend on the specific circumstances of the individual case. For example, it might depend on what specific services are offered as part of the online coaching and whether the consideration for the coaching is commensurate with the service provided.

Given these uncertainties, providers of online coaching services may be forced to adjust their contracts and disclosures to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the FernUSG while respecting the rights of their clients, whether consumers or business owners. This could be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to improve the quality and transparency of the services offered and to increase customer confidence in the industry.

The future of online coaching in Germany

The rulings of the OLG Celle and the LG Hannover could represent a turning point for the online coaching industry in Germany. They could lead to online coaching service providers having to rethink and adapt their business models. This could lead to an improvement in the quality and transparency of the services offered and ultimately increase consumer confidence in the industry.

However, it is important to emphasize that the exact impact of these rulings remains to be seen. Initial feedback on the rulings suggests that they may primarily affect well-known alleged success coaches and other “business consultants” who are often familiar from a variety of YouTube advertising campaigns. These providers are often not licensed under the FernUSG and could therefore be particularly affected by the rulings.

On the other hand, reputable providers of online coaching services that are already licensed under the FernUSG should be less affected by the rulings. They already meet the requirements of the law and provide their customers with the necessary information and safeguards.

Nevertheless, these providers could also be affected by the rulings, especially if they also offer their services to entrepreneurs. They may be forced to rethink and adjust their business practices and contracts to ensure that they fully respect the rights and interests of their customers, whether consumers or entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, these judgments could help professionalize and standardize the online coaching industry in Germany. They could lead online coaching service providers to improve their business practices and better serve their clients. This could help increase customer confidence in the industry and improve the quality of the services offered.

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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