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German authority rules that streamers require a 10,000€ broadcasting license

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by Klumpen, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    18,900
    Location:
    Ingolstadt
    That's something I can explain, as I had to learn that stuff for my profession.

    The foundation and the ideas of the "Landesmedienanstalten" are from quite a while ago, before the internet existed, back when frequencies for TV and radio programmes were rare (analogue cable could only have up to 31 channels, for example).

    It has multiple functions:
    • Ensure that no illegal stuff (propaganda, etc.) is being broadcast to wider audiences. And take care of youth protection (for example, no movies ages 16 and up before 10pm, etc.)
    • As frequencies were rare, it would be a mess if anyone could broadcast anything anywhere. Therefore they got the task from the government, to handle and hand out these frequencies.
    • They regularly check all official TV and radio programs for content and also investigate when someone sends them an information about illegal content on one of the official programs.
    So the basic ideas should be clear:
    They have the task to make sure all broadcasts to wider audiences are without any illegal content and that youth protection is being kept.
    (I think that idea came from WW2, where Hitler used radio for propaganda).
    And the second task is to make sure the few frequencies available are being handed out evenly to prevent a frequency chaos and pirate stations.

    This all made sense before the internet (and youth protection and preventing illegal stuff still does, in my opinion).
    The frequencies are not rare anymore, especially not in the internet, so that doesn't make sense.
    However, to be able to control these "new medias" as well, they needed some new guidelines.
    That's where the "more than 500 technical viewers" rule came from, combined with the "journalistic" aspect.

    Which means: If more than 500 people can theoretically view the stream AND it has journalistic influence (by a commentator, editing, etc.), THEN you need a license.
    Less than 500 people are probably not big enough to make a big influence with propaganda.

    So you CAN broadcast for free if you limit the stream to 500 viewers OR if you just stream without any editing or commenting.

    If you do a live stream without commenting or editing anything, you don't need a license.
     
  2. jeeks

    jeeks Very Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
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    Location:
    Germany
    @EvilDragon thank you for explaining, these are pretty good reasons (especially the youth protection thing) to have such a law :)
     
  3. fahrstuhl

    fahrstuhl Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Germany
    Youth protection laws in Germany are such a mess, though. The "no 18+ stuff before 10pm" also technically holds for websites if they don't have a way to make sure only adults can access the site. So you actually have to have your users go through an age verification process ("click here to promise you're 18+" won't do) or shut down your site until 10pm.
    Ah, actually there's a third option now: You can set up an age-de.xml file declaring your content's age rating for filter software.
    If you want to show "indizierten" stuff like any Quake or Unreal Tournament title, among many others, you need to have a closed, age-verified group of users. Good look running a stream or a website with more than 2 users then.
     
  4. jeeks

    jeeks Very Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Germany
    lol i forgot about that website bullshittery! wasn't there some concept around that people have to enter their personalausweisnummer or scan the thing so hosters can verify the users'/viewers' age?
    btw, one of my roommate's fav youtube channels got their ad revenue pulled because of mature content, so now he's paying for some "premium service" (earlier access to videos and stuff) on their website (before that, he just shut off ad block on their channel). we both have some youtubers on our patreon lists, too. well, at least those ad-laden pseudo product review channels with their kiddie audiences are safe, right?
     

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