Media law is a branch of law that deals with all forms of communication relevant to our society.
Communication takes place in the press, on the radio, in films and, increasingly, via electronic media like internet forums, blogs, social media and emails. As such, media law is divided into several sub-branches:
- Press law
- Radio broadcasting law
- Film law
- Internet law
Regardless of whether communication is involved, IT law deals with the legal specifics of data processing and is therefore strongly related to media law. Our legal work often deals with cases that involve communication via new information technologies, such as for example Twitter, meaning that our considerations have to be based on both IT law and media law at the same time.
Any legal work associated with media law is based on Article 5 of the German Basic Law (GG) and the constitutional requirements set forth therein.
Free expression of opinion is the touchstone for all media-related cases, irrespective of whether the statements were made via classical media like newspapers, TV and radio or via the new media. According to decisions by the highest relevant courts, the crucial points are whether the respective statement can be challenged as a false statement of facts or whether it is an expression of opinion, which is only actionable if it qualifies as calumny.
Our litigation work frequently confirms that the boundaries between these definitions are rather flexible. Well-considered, legally founded argumentation helps to utilise this scope in the client’s favour.
In recent years we have constantly been confronted with the legal admissibility of postings on companies that were published in internet forums, while we were also able to obtain injunctive relief on our clients’ behalf against several radio broadcasting companies and print media.
We accompany and advise numerous and major internet and computer companies in legal IT matters. Our clients appreciate that we take an interest in their data processing needs and that we are familiar with terms and concepts like affiliate marketing, cloud computing, domain grabbing and DNS attack.
We keep track of latest developments and issues in the IT world and the problems associated therewith and welcome the challenge when it comes to scrutinising the technical facts from a legal viewpoint and explaining them to the courts in a comprehensible manner.