Impressum

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An impressum (from Latin impressum, "the impressed, engraved, pressed in, impression", engl. imprint) is the term given to a legally mandated statement of the ownership and authorship of a document, which must be included in books, newspapers, magazines[1] and websites[2] published in Germany and certain other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland.

There is no equivalent legislation in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, and therefore no consistent legal term is used in English-language media. Facebook, however, asks users to add an impressum for user-created pages. Outside of Facebook, the closest English terms for impressum are:

None of these terms is an exact equivalent in all contexts. The terms "masthead" and "colophon" apply to printed publications only and are not commonly used on English-language websites, while "site notice" is website-specific and "legal notice" or "legal disclosure" are rarely found in printed works. An "imprint" in publishing may also mean a brand name under which a work is published,[6] and so may not be understood to mean an Impressum.

Webpages[edit]

The Telemediengesetz (German meaning "Telemedia Act") requires that German websites must disclose information about the publisher, including their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company.[7] German websites are defined as being published by individuals or organisations that are based in Germany, so an Impressum is required regardless of whether a site is in the .de domain.

This law has created privacy concerns for individuals who maintain blogs or personal homepages.[citation needed] The law has also caused lawyers to scrutinise websites for this information and send cease-and-desist letters to their maintainers in case it is missing.[8] Facebook has added a section in the public page settings for adding an Impressum.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ de:Presserecht, Retrieved 28 April 2015[better source needed]
  2. ^ de:Telemediengesetz, Retrieved 28 April 2015[better source needed]
  3. ^ Duden: "(Buchw.): Vermerk über Verleger, Drucker, auch Redaktionen u.a. in Büchern, Zeitungen u. Zeitschriften"
  4. ^ "Printer's Imprint Act 1961". legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Printers Imprint" (Microsoft Word). British Printing Industries Federation. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "English definition of "imprint"". Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Telemediengesetz (TMG) § 5 Allgemeine Informationspflichten". gesetze-im-internet.de. Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  8. ^ MMarks. "U.S. comment on 'Impressum'/German lawyers' cease and desist hunt". Transblawg. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "How do I add an Impressum to my Page?". Facebook. Retrieved 28 April 2015.