Telemedia Act

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Basic data
Title: Telemedia Act
Abbreviation: TMG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany    
Legal matter: Internet law
References : 772-4
Issued on: February 26, 2007
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 179 , p. 251 )
Entry into force on: March 1, 2007
Last change by: Art. 11 G of July 11, 2019
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1066, 1076 )
Effective date of the
last change:
July 18, 2019
(Art. 18 G of July 11, 2019)
GESTA : D025
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Telemedia Act ( TMG ) regulates the legal framework for so-called telemedia in Germany. It is one of the central regulations of internet law . The TMG largely summarizes in one law what was previously divided into three different sets of rules . Only a few supplementary provisions on telemedia with a specific content were included in the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (RStV) in its ninth amendment instead of in the TMG (see Sections 54 ff).


The TMG contains, among other things, regulations

  • to the imprint for telemedia services
  • to combat spam (prohibition of obfuscation and concealment of sender and content in advertising e-mails)
  • on the liability of service operators for illegal content in telemedia services
  • on data protection when operating telemedia services and on the publication of data
  • to provider privilege


Telemedia is a legal term for electronic information and communication services. The term was first used in the State Treaty on Youth Media Protection. The telemedia regulated in the TMG include (almost) all offers on the Internet, for example web shops , online auction houses , search engines , webmail services, information services (e.g. on weather, traffic information), podcasts, chat rooms, dating communities and web portals . Private websites and blogs are also considered telemedia. The law is therefore colloquially referred to as the Internet law.

Internet Radio that the streaming method is offered more than 500 parallel users, since 1 June 2009 after the State Broadcasting Treaty as broadcasting notifiable; the notification is to be sent to the responsible state media authority. The earlier licensing requirement has been abolished by the 12th Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (RÄStV).

So far, no Teleservices within the meaning of TMG in accordance with § 1 paragraph 1, the Internet TV or the mere Internet telephony (telecommunications).

History and innovations in the TMG

The TMG was promulgated with Article 1 of the Electronic Commerce Unification Act (ElGVG). It replaces the Teleservices Act (TDG), the Teleservices Data Protection Act (TDDSG) and, as far as possible, the Media Services State Treaty (MDStV), which all expired at the same time as the TMG came into force.

In terms of content, the regulations that had been in effect until then remained largely unchanged. With the combination of the three sets of rules, however, the delimitation of media and teleservices, which was disputed in detail, was eliminated . There is now a new rule on spam mail, according to which advertising e-mails must be recognizable as such before they are opened; in the event of a violation, there is a risk of a fine. The obligation to provide a website imprint has been restricted, which is no longer required for private homepages in many cases. On the other hand, the points of contact where telemedia service operators can be required to hand over certain user data have been expanded; Information can now also be requested in the case of certain purely private law disputes. The regulations on liability on the Internet (including link liability ) have not (yet) been changed in view of the publication of the results of a corresponding investigation by the EU Commission expected at the end of 2007.

In parallel to the data protection regulations of the TMG, those of the Telecommunications Act continue to apply to telecommunications services . Internet offers that contain both telemedia and telecommunications services are subject to the rules of both the Telemedia Act and those of the Telecommunications Act.

Probably the most controversial part of the law is Section 14 , which contains a clause according to which the service provider may provide information on inventory data such as name, address or personal user IDs “on the orders of the competent authorities in individual cases”. The prerequisite is that this is "necessary for the purposes of criminal prosecution, to fulfill the legal tasks of the constitutional protection authorities of the federal and state levels, the Federal Intelligence Service or the military counterintelligence service or to enforce intellectual property rights." The last half-sentence in particular leads to outrages , because here the concerns of the music and film industry are placed on the same level as those of the secret services such as the MAD or BND .

According to § 14 Paragraph 3–5 TMG in the version of the Network Enforcement Act of September 1, 2017, the service provider may provide information on existing inventory data in individual cases, insofar as this is necessary to enforce civil law claims due to the violation of absolutely protected rights due to unlawful content that of Section 1 (3) of the NetzwerkDG is required.

Legislative process

In April 2005 a first draft of the ministerial working level for the planned Telemedia Act was made public. The draft law tried to give service providers the necessary freedom to offer user-friendly and secure services. However, some of the planned changes led to criticism because of a feared weakening of data protection for Internet users.

In November 2005 the draft bill of the planned Telemedia Act was presented. Especially in the criticized proposed amendments, the draft was largely reduced to the legal situation that was already in force.

On June 14, 2006, the German federal government agreed on a final bill. This draft was introduced by the federal government on August 11, 2006 to the Federal Council under BR-Drucksache 556/06 as Article 1 of the Act for the Unification of Regulations on Certain Electronic Information and Communication Services (Electronic Business Transactions Unification Act - ElGVG) . The Federal Council approved on September 22, 2006 with minor amendments and a request for review.

On January 18, 2007, the German Bundestag finally passed the Telemedia Act. The adopted version of the law is based on the original draft legislation of the federal government, a last minute change by the economic committee of the German Bundestag was taken into account.

The Telemedia Act entered into force on March 1, 2007, together with the ninth state broadcasting amendment.


The Telemedia Act was criticized for its vague wording to ensure that website operators could be sued if they gave visitors the opportunity to post text themselves (for example by posting comments), so that they violate applicable law violated; For example, some courts ultimately demanded that all comments from users be checked before publication, which is in fact impossible, especially for larger sites, which calls into question all online communities .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bavarian State Center for New Media: INTERNET RADIO . Accessed on July 18, 2008.
  2. ^ Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti : Bayrische Medienanstalt: Streaming offers are broadcast. In: heise online . Heise Medien GmbH & Co. KG, July 14, 2008, accessed on October 31, 2015 .
  3. See TMG § 6 paragraph 2 .
  4. See TMG § 16 paragraph 1 .
  5. See § 5 Paragraph 1: only “[...] business-like telemedia, usually offered for a fee [...]” .
  6. See § 14 paragraph 2: "[...] to enforce intellectual property rights [...]" .
  7. See justification for the Federal Government's draft bill ( memento of the original dated June 16, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 88 kB), page 14 f. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Stefan Krempl : Federal Cabinet decides to reorganize media law. In: heise online . Heise Medien GmbH & Co. KG, June 14, 2006, accessed on October 31, 2015 .
  9. BGBl. I p. 3352
  10. Draft Network Enforcement Act (pdf), Federal Ministry of Justice, here Article 2
  11. Burak Zurel: New right to information about inventory data in the event of a violation of personal rights according to the TMG January 30, 2018
  12. a b Process of deliberations in the Federal Council online , accessed on November 9, 2016.
  13. Announcement about the entry into force of the Electronic Commerce Unification Act. BGBl. 2007 I p. 251.
  14. Konrad Lischka : Merciless judges endanger Web 2.0 in Germany. Forum liability. In: Spiegel Online . Spiegel Online GmbH, June 21, 2007, accessed on October 31, 2015 .