From 1 March 2007 the new German Telemedia Act will mean higher penalties for commercial emails that are not as clear as they should be about the sender and the subject matter. Bjoern Mann of Osborne Clarke Cologne reports.
Who: The Bundestag
When: From 1 March 2007
The German Bundestag has enacted the new Act on Tele-Media. Pursuant to the new provisions, spam (in other words any commercial email that does not comply with the transparency provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive as implemented in Germany) sent on or after 1 March 2007 will now be judged as misdemeanour. Senders of advertising e-mails will have to face a fine up to € 50,000.00 if they do not clearly identify themselves and their purpose of sending their e-mails by providing clear and understandable information with the subject heading and on the header of their e-mails.
Why this matters:
The German Christian Democratic Party (CDU) who voted for the new law together with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Liberals (FDP) considers these new provisions on spam as an important signal in order to reduce spam although the majority of spam was said to be posted from foreign countries where German law does not apply, said Christian Democratic expert for consumer protection, Julia Klöckner. According to her, spam causes economic damages in the amount of € 2.5 Billion every year.