A bill has been introduced into the German parliament to reduce email spam. Whether it will have any effect or not remains to be seen.
I was a bit worried when I read in Stu Savory’s blog that all private weblogs have to have an Impressum now. I have one anyway, but I know that’s EU law, perhaps more strictly enforced in Germany than Britain – it was not nice to think of Germany upping the ante on its own.
Here’s a rough translation of the muepe entry:
bq. After the comment on the first entry on this topic, I looked at the bill in question (Bt-Drucks. 15/4835 v. 15.02.2005 “Entwurf eines Zweiten Gesetzes zur Änderung des Teledienstegesetzes (Anti-Spam-Gesetz)”, PDF) in detail. In particular I wanted to answer the question whether, as one weblog claims, this bill gives rise to a duty for all websites, and therefore all weblogs, to have a page with contact and legal details (Impressum).
In my opinion that is not the case.
Firstly, § 7 of the Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz) is to be amended, and this applies only to those offering services in connection with commercial communications. Those who previously had no duty to have an Impressum under § 6 of the Telecommunications Act will have no duty as a result of the amendment of § 7 either.
The purpose of the bill is different:
bq. The amendments relate to the following measures:
– introduction of a prohibition on disguising or concealing the true identity of the sender in the header of a commercial email,
– making it clear that it is not enough for the commercial character of an item to be evident from the body of the text, but that it may not be disguised or concealed in the subject either,
– the broadening of the definition of the regulatory offence in § 12 of the Telecommunications Act when there is an infringement of the prohibition of disguising or concealing the secnder,
– introduction of a regulatory offence when there is an infringement of the prohibition of disguising or concealing the commercial nature of an electronic message in the subject.
bq. If, therefore, there is no general duty to have an Impressum arising from another bill, the previous rules continue to apply. Information on them can be found here:
The whole thing came via TEFL Smiler, whom I rather attacked, quite unfairly. Sorry about that, David. I could just imagine the story travelling through the whole Web in an ever more distorted fashion.