question on impressum
Thread poster: Natalia Elo

Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Apr 18, 2005

Dear all,

I apologise for posting in English, but my German is crap and I need help in Germany-related issue.

I'm making my personal webpage. My German boyfriend said that I have to have there impressum - part.

Now the questions:
1. I looked it up in Internet, different people and organisations write it in different ways. Is there some place, where I could find some instructions on what definitely should be included?

2. I will have subpages in different languages, so should I write impressum in all of them?

3. I saw some people refering at their webpages to the decision of Hamburg state court, "Haftung für Links". Now, if I live in Berlin (and moving to Munich in July) do I have to anyway mention this Hamburg court?

Your help will be most appreciated.

Natalia

[Edited at 2005-04-19 08:19]


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Ruta Peter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Member (2004)
German to Lithuanian
+ ...
Rules for webpages Apr 19, 2005

Hello, Natalia,

Natalia Elo wrote:

Dear all,

..
I'm making my personal webpage. My German boyfriend said that I have to have there impressum - part.

Yes, he´s right.

Now the questions:
1. I looked it up in Internet, different people and organisations write it in a different ways. Is there some place, where I could find some instructions on what definitely should be included?

It must contain your name/surname (or the name of your company, if you are a GmbH or so), the full address (street, number, town, zip code), a postbox-address is _not_ enough, your telefon number _and_ E-mail address and your VAT-number _or_ EU-VAT-ID, if you have one, that means, if your invoices contain VAT.


2. I will have subpages in different languages, so should I write impressum in all of them?

There should be a link to the impressum, which is easy to find from every subpage. It is not absolutely necessary (but common and best), that this link is shown on every subpage. If you have different language versions, it is really not easy for a German user to look for it at the chinese version. It is also not easy to click 3 or 4 links to other subpages to find the impressum. The link must have a name like "Impressum" or "contact", where the user commonly will expect to find it.
The link must work even if the user has deactivated javascript, java or other features like that.

3. I saw some people refering at their webpages to the decision of Hamburg state court, "Haftung für Links". Now, if I live in Berlin (and moving to Munich in July) do I have to anyway mention this Hamburg court?


Yes, you have. It is a basic judgment of the Hamburg court, all other courts in Germany would appoint to this decision, if they have to fell a related judgement. It does not base on special Hamburg laws, these laws are valid all over Germany.

best regards

Joachim Peter


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
English to German
+ ...
Bei Verstößen Buße bis zu 50.000 Euro möglich! Apr 19, 2005

Yes, an "Impressum" is absolutely mandatory in Germany!!!
You MUST have one!
Ein Impressum ist auf jeder Seite Pflicht, da Webseiten in das Teledienstgesetz (TDG) fallen!
Please, read this (sorry, it's in German):
http://faq.webmasterhilfen.de/pdf/6.pdf
http://www.abc-recht.de/ratgeber/internet/urteile/impressum_pflicht.php
http://www.mcgrip.de/Service/news/Impressumpflicht.htm

You will find a host of information on the WWW (just type in "Impressum-Pflicht"!).

Best wishes, Aniello

[Edited at 2005-04-19 08:33]

Addition:
"Impressum" is the term used for German websites;
"website credits" / "site credits" / "credits" is the term used for English websites.

Have you checked the KudoZ glossaries?


[Edited at 2005-04-20 13:35]


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Burkhard Ziegler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Russian to German
+ ...
Impressum is a must, "Legal advice" (disclaimer) is strongly recommended Apr 19, 2005

Hi, Natalia,

all the collegues are right. You must have an impressum. And it is strongly recommended to call the hyperlink sensitive word "Impressum". Yes, it should be localizable from any (sub) page of your website. (Many homepage builders "hide" their impressum under a rubric like "contact", because of the similar contents.)

The expressive disassociation of yourself from linked pages is strongly recommended. Furthermore, you should assume, that all information has a copyright, and that any information on your site is not legally binding for you (e. g. a price list published on your pages should be considered as an invitatio ad offerendum).

May I give another observation: A basic judgement is not a law and in this way it's not legally binding for the work of other judges in Germany. An other judge, even on a lower instance, (Amtsgericht) might take another decision depending on the individual case.


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It just sounds strange to me Apr 19, 2005

Dear Ruta, Aniello and Burkhard,

Thank you for your replies so far.
Aniello, thank you for the links.

First thing, which sounds a bit bizarre to me, that I would have to refer in Finnish language at my Finnish subpage to the decision of Hamburg court. But on the other hand if I live in Germany, obvously I have to follow the rules.


And the second, for example the text of impressum at the webpage of German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce:" Die Deutsch-Finnische Handelskammer übernimmt keine Haftung oder Gewähr für Inhalt und Aktualität der hier veröffentlichten Informationen. Bei den angelinkten externen Seiten handelt es sich ausschließlich um fremde Inhalte.

I've read that in Finnish, and this is strange, for I thought that I do carry responsibility on what I'm writing on my webpage.

Not taking responsibility of the links to other webpages is clear though.


"Impressum". Yes, it should be localizable from any (sub) page of your website. (Many homepage builders "hide" their impressum under a rubric like "contact", because of the similar contents.)

So should I call it Impressum in Finnish and Russian as well? Impressum and not 'Tietoa verkkopalvelusta' or 'Vyhodnyje dannyje'?

Natalia


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Sorcha O'Hagan
Local time: 14:35
German to English
Don't have to use the word "Impressum" Apr 19, 2005

Hi Natalia,

As the others have correctly said, you do have to include this information on a website published in Germany. However, as far as I'm aware, there is no legal requirement to title this page "Impressum". Most people do so in the German version of their webpages, because it's now become established and visitors now (usually) know what they will find there.

However, personally, I don't like to use the term "impressum" or the English semi-translation "imprint" in English-language versions of German sites, as these terms are not familiar to English-language visitors. I generally use a title such as "Contact details" (as someone else suggested) or "About this site", which is where this information would be contained on most English-language sites (if at all). I don't speak Finnish or Russian but I presume there are similar terms in those languages!

As for the legal information regarding the decision of the court in Hamburg etc - as far as I know there is no real need to translate this into the various language versions, but I may be wrong.

Hope this helps,
Sorcha


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Burkhard Ziegler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Russian to German
+ ...
Multilanguage pages and legal requirements Apr 20, 2005

Well, Natalia,

as your website will be registered (i presume) in Germany you must obey the German laws and requirements.

The official language in Germany is German and there I do not consider any obligation to translate impressi and legal advice into other languages. But I may be wrong.

In fact, I don't know, if "vyhodnye dannye" is an appropiate translation into Russian. In fact, Russian Website owners don't use this term. For the English language Ralf Lemster found a very fine translation (publication details) on his site. Mozhe voobsche luchshe "dannye o sajte".

Finally, it's your decision, how much disclaimer information you put into your site... I think a fine version would be: (humor follows)

"It's forbidden to enter my website and subpages, read their contents, take a look at the pictures and to execute any other activity related to my website for anybody who wants to cause me legal problems with reference to this website."


Edited:

The question of translation of "Impressum" into Russian: How about "Rekvizity sajta" or "Rekvizity publikacii"?

[Edited at 2005-04-20 09:35]


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