(LATER NOTE, added in June 2004: I would translate Impressum as ‘Legal notice’, or at a pinch as ‘Contact us’ or some such. A Google search on “legal notice” site:uk reveals many examples).
In an earlier entry I mentioned this problem: the German word Impressum, referring to the details web site owners are required to quote on their sites, is often mistranslated (e.g. as imprint or masthead).
A German translator asked on a mailing list what the English equivalent is, since the Impressum is required under EU law.
In England and Wales, the Electronic Commerce Directive (00/31/EC) was implemented by the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations. I quote those:
General information to be provided by a person providing an information society service
6. – (1) A person providing an information society service shall make available to the recipient of the service and any relevant enforcement authority, in a form and manner which is easily, directly and permanently accessible, the following information –
(a) the name of the service provider;
(b) the geographic address at which the service provider is established;
(c) the details of the service provider, including his electronic mail address, which make it possible to contact him rapidly and communicate with him in a direct and effective manner;
(d) where the service provider is registered in a trade or similar register available to the public, details of the register in which the service provider is entered and his registration number, or equivalent means of identification in that register;
(e) where the provision of the service is subject to an authorisation scheme, the particulars of the relevant supervisory authority;
(f) where the service provider exercises a regulated profession –
(i) the details of any professional body or similar institution with which the service provider is registered;
(ii) his professional title and the member State where that title has been granted;
(iii) a reference to the professional rules applicable to the service provider in the member State of establishment and the means to access them; and
(g) where the service provider undertakes an activity that is subject to value added tax, the identification number referred to in Article 22(1) of the sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the member States relating to turnover taxes – Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment.
(2) Where a person providing an information society service refers to prices, these shall be indicated clearly and unambiguously and, in particular, shall indicate whether they are inclusive of tax and delivery costs.
So the only word is ‘information’.
The word Information is also used in Austria. Here’s an example on an Austrian translators’ web site.
Every bit as detailed as the German, but no Impressum as far as the eye can see.
ADDED LATER: I did conclude after this that the word ‘information’ alone would not do in English and I would use ‘Contact information’. Klaus points out in the comments that the word ‘Impressum’ is widely used in Austria, if not in the law (I seem to have hit on an unusual website, which says ‘Informationen gemäß § 5 Abs. 1 E-Commerce Gesetz’, rather heavy for most purposes. Incidentally, it gives this information on the page labelled ‘Home’). – The word ‘Impressum’ probably isn’t in the German law either – I haven’t checked where it comes from.