Blogging in Germany: Using photos

Photographer - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / dny3dI often see blogs from other countries that contain photos that appear to have been taken in public spaces and then used to illustrate new posts, and I am sure that many of those authors don’t give a second thought to using them.

And yet using such photos on German blogs can lead to all sorts of complicated issues, which fall under a variety of categories.  However the phrase use are most likely to hear is the “Recht am eigenen Bild” – the right to one’s own image.

There are situations that are probably just obvious.  Using someone else’s photo without asking would infringe on their copyright, something that most people understand.  But these days people are more “up” on what copyright is and defend it accordingly. [Read more…]

Blogging in Germany: Personal, Business or Journalist?

Hat with press card - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / stocksnapperHave you ever considered at what point a blog stops being a personal one and starts being a business?  Or at which point the blogger becomes a writer, or even a journalist?

Quite apart from any internet marketing advice telling you to “treat your blog like a business”, in Germany the differences can have knock-on effects such as how much tax you pay.

Obviously, the first difference between a personal blog and a business site is the need for the Impressum, but a simple way of looking at it is that a personal blog does not make any money.  A business site does, regardless of whether the blog directly sells products, contains advertising or is simply connected to an existing business. [Read more…]

Blogging in Germany: Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag

PG icon - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / barneybooglesIt’s quite amazing now to think that this post almost didn’t get written, and it’s all down to something called the Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag, or “JMStV” for short.  Another crazy piece of German legislation that, thankfully, didn’t quite make it into law.  Well, not yet at least.

Had it done so, you might well have seen a blank page here by now.  Indeed, it might have meant the end of most blogs in Germany.

But how can a law be that powerful, without banning blogs completely? [Read more…]

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