The missing imprint, important changes and the legal consequences

The topic "right" is to be read lately again more frequently in Blogs. Be it surreptitious advertising or the DS-GVO. However, I am always shocked by the fact that there are still business websites that do not even have a correct imprint. Or an imprint at all.

Why are there partly websites without imprint and which consequences can have this??

And what does a correct imprint look like, what changes have there been recently and why can one not escape the imprint obligation by "fleeing" to a foreign server??

[This is not legal advice, but only a description of my personal opinion. If you have concrete questions or problems, you should contact a lawyer.]

Why no imprint?


There are certainly some reasons why websites do not have an imprint. Some people do not even know that they need an imprint. Others again do not see this so closely and set on the fact that nobody notices it.

Some are also afraid that z.B. the eMail-address will be read automatically by spammers and you will be spammed (but this is not a big problem anymore due to current spam filters).

There are also many who think that they don’t need an imprint or who don’t want to give their personal data because of the sensitive content.

Who needs an imprint?

According to current law, providers of telemedia (including blogs and websites) do not need an imprint only if they serve exclusively personal or family purposes.

The picture page for the relatives (best with password) is therefore exempt from the imprint obligation. With the personal Blog the lawyers are however already disagreed, because this is public nevertheless.

But most of them will have more than just personal content anyway and will address more than just the family. As soon as you want to earn money with your site in any way (AdSense, Affiliatelinks …), then the obligation is anyway no longer wegzudiskutieren.

All in all, the general legal opinion is that 99% of the websites need an imprint and thus one is simply on the safe side.

Content for your own imprint

It is very easy to determine what content you need in the imprint itself. In addition there are some services in the Web, which help with the production.

This is how you go about it at step by step the creation of the imprint through and receives at the end a finished imprint.

Important change to the imprint

Much has not changed in recent years. the information in the imprint has not changed, but one thing has. The new Media State Treaty (MStV) replaces the Broadcasting State Treaty and accordingly a change must be made in the imprint.

So there must now be "responsible for the content i. S. d. § 18 Abs. 2 MStV" (and no longer the reference to the RStV) or you write, as some lawyers recommend, only "responsible for the content".

What happens if the imprint is missing?

A missing or incorrect imprint is not a trifle. A fine can be imposed by the authorities.

Although no authority goes through the web and controls websites, but the competition likes to send warnings, which can also be expensive.

Imprint as image?

Some people come up with creative ideas and so z.B. trying to prevent spammers from reading the eMail address by using a text image.

However, this is prohibited and can also lead to a warning, because blind people can not have the imprint read out by this and with deactivated images (z.B. mobile use) the imprint is then also not usable.

So don’t try to be "clever", but create the imprint according to the regulations.

What to do in case of a warning?

Here in the blog there is an article with a few tips to it.

The article is aimed at bloggers, website operators and others, because the warning for a missing / incomplete imprint (or other violations) and how to deal with the warning applies to all others as well. A media liability can help here.

However, it is also clear that anyone who does not have an imprint is acting with gross negligence and no insurance will help.

Escape abroad a solution?

Who now believes that he or she can simply rent a foreign server and thereby escape the imprint obligation, is wrong. If you live in Germany, you have to provide an imprint, no matter where the server is located. That the server location alone decides this is not correct.

And if you want a DE domain address, you must at least specify an Admin-C with a German address. And if the domain owner is not available, the Admin-C is liable for any damages. Legal claims. You should consider this before you persuade a buddy or a family member to "play" the admin-c.


Even if there are in individual cases quite understandable reasons that one would not like to have his personal data in the imprint, so the very most do not come however around it.

I personally see no disadvantage. If you behave decently on the web and don’t think you are allowed to do whatever you want on the web, you usually won’t have to hide your identity on the web.

With all the legal problem areas on the Internet, it is also good to know that you can easily and safely create your own imprint with the help of online generators.

More info on the imprint on Facebook and Co, as well as legal pitfalls on YouTube.

My name is Peer Wandiger. I’ve been self-employed on the web for more than 15 years and run many of my own blogs, websites, podcasts and YouTube channels.

Here on the blog you will find more than 3.000 articles of mine about making money on the internet, the best articles from over 15 years, all about me and much more.


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