What kind of information belongs in a legal notice, and do I need one? How do I deal with others’ contents? What do I have to know about data protection on my website? The legal situation regarding social media and other online platforms is frequently confusing, and in some cases, simply not well known. To address this issue, the re:publica is arranging a “Law Lab” for the very first time. In a series of eight sessions and workshops, experienced legal scholars and lawyers will give an introduction to the most crucial aspects of Internet law – and surely present one or two curious case studies.
Making a legal notice for your website seems to be straightforward enough at first glance. But in fact this menial task can quickly turn into an ambiguous challenge, as Adrian Schneider argues in his talk: "Who are you anyway? An update on legal notice requirements". He touches on other legal obligations as well, in addition to that German legal "evergreen", obligatory imprints.
In the session "Reality Check Copyright", Ramak Molavi will give some basic insights into copyright law. Does it still make sense or is it just an aggravating relic today, in the light of the "Sharing Economy", calling the very concept of intellectual property into question? Miriam Ballhausen, in her session "The Boundaries of Copyright", will pick up on the copyright debate and explain how and when others’ copyrighted contents can still be used.
Carola Sieling will take a close look at photo copyright, in her talk on "Photo Copyright – Snapshots and Sharing Allowed?". Who (and what) shouldn’t be photographed? How are private pictures different from commercial settings? She will also clarify what German entertainer Jan Böhmermann has to do with it.
In the session on "Press Law for Bloggers", Ansgar Koreng will present some of the privileges, rights, and obligations of the media. The boundaries between public relations and blogging are becoming increasingly blurred, and so the question whether bloggers should have the same rights – and restrictions – as the press should be permitted. Jörg Heidrich will report on some aspects of these PR and blogging practices in his workshop "Freedom of Expression – On Fraudsters, Diatribes, and Hot Coffee", where he gives a detailed account of some specific legal cases.
And a re:publica Law Lab wouldn’t be complete without the privacy debate: In "Sense and Nonsense of Data Protection", Jana Moser explains which data protection regulations website operators need to observe, and how this can be achieved in practical terms. In his talk "Surreptitious Advertising: Money vs. Law & Ethics", Thomas Schwenke discusses the fine line between acceptable advertising and less acceptable product placement, underlined with numerous practical examples.
Two lawyers, Henning Krieg and Thorsten Feldmann, are responsible for the concept and curation of the Law Lab, both well-known to re:publica regulars for their "Annual Review of Social Media Law". Krieg and Feldmann have been providing updates on the development of social media law at re:publica every year since 2009 – of course also at #rp15.