Monday, February 29, 2016

Consumer Protection: Facebook must pay 100,000 euros fine money – ZEIT ONLINE

The Landgericht Berlin has given consumer advocates at odds with Facebook right. The social network has to pay an administrative fine amounting to 100,000 euros, as the Federation of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) announced. Reason for the punishment, is that Facebook, despite legally binding sentencing a contentious clause in its terms and conditions initially not changed.

“Facebook tried very persistently to circumvent consumers’ rights in Germany and Europe. A fine of 100,000 euros is a clear signal. Companies need to implement judicial decisions and they can not just sit out, “informed vzbv Board Klaus Müller. “A Conditions clause does not get better that Facebook changed a few words. Even with the amended copyright clause, the company admits extensive use their content to its users.”

In the contested clause is about the rights of the company to the content to its users. Facebook users provided to the Group a “global license to use any IP content” that users post on Facebook or in connection to the network – for example, photos or videos.

Although Facebook have changed the clause in the interim, but not sufficient, according to the reasoning of the District Court. The “significant disciplinary action” was justified because the clause concerns a very large number of users and significantly restricts their rights.

A Facebook spokeswoman said on request, the Group has complied with the first arrangement and have clarified some time ago the faulted point in terms. Now let the Court considers that this is not happening fast enough and have imposed a fine. The latter will pay Facebook, said the spokeswoman.

In December 2015, the vzbv had requested a “noticeable administrative fine” in the amount of up to 250,000 euros. The sum of 100,000 Euro now has to be paid to the Treasury. The decision, which was already on 11 February, is not yet final.


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