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Of cause we haven't outsourced the communication, its always us you are talking with. Hello World, finally our english website is ready. Often announced, now finally ready. We made it into the english speaking world, our english website is ready now. Its not as big as our german one, but it's a start.
We concentrated on our recent work in Virtual Worlds. Of cause we still do all the other wonderful things the web is made for, Webpages, Intranets, Online-Shops, Communities etc. Please have a look, and as always, feedback is highly welcomed. Report on the Goethe-Institut in Second Life. Now time for some excellent inWorld journalism.
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Draxtor Despres, a pioneer and meanwhile living legend of inworld journalism produced a machinima report on the activities of the Goethe-Institut in Second Life. Grab a popcorn, lean back and Enjoy. We thought it's time to have a look into the figures again. In fact, Q1 was for Second Life a quarter of records. Another all time high was archived when Also no signs of a economic crisis. More metrics here. All charts copyright Linden Lab When the Provider has no knowledge of an illegal activity taking place, a liability of those activities would be completely exaggerated.
The fact that Linden Lab qualifies as a Host Provider under European law means, first of all, that it does not have a general obligation to monitor the content transmitted or stored via its platform or to actively search for illegal activities. Under all national laws analyzed so far the Host Provider is privileged if he did not have actual knowledge of the illegal content and, if upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, he immediately removed it or disabled the access to it. The conditions of the privilege mean that a Host Provider does indeed have a restricted liability to control his platform or manage it responsibly.
Once the Host Provider has been notified of any illegal activity occurring on his platform and has positive knowledge of its location, a whole set of duties arise with regard to taking down the content and preventing future access to similar content. In addition, Hosts could be obliged to operate sophisticated registration systems which would permit the identification of users when necessary. The statute itself does not stipulate how a valid notification should be drafted and in what manner the provider should react.
Legal literature and the court decisions have provided several guidelines. The notification has to be sent by a non-anonymous sender and has to clearly identify the illegal content, i.
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The Provider does not have to act upon vague or imprecise notifications. Basically, the stipulations are identical with the ones required by the UK or the French statute, pointed out below. Such a duty would render the operation of the whole platform impossible. The Court established two duties:. The precise legal basis for this duty to prevent future infringements remained unclear. The language of the court with regard to the preventive duties is therefore rather cautious and ambiguous.
A similar judgment by the District Court of Hamburg involving plagiarized perfume 29 shed a little more light on the monitoring duty by pointing out that any filter used to detect illicit offers must function in a preventive manner. The auctioneer had installed a filter that detected offers of plagiarized perfume. The filters were held to be insufficient because they were only capable of detecting an offer after it had been displayed. A second group of cases focused on libellous statements in chat forums. So far this question has not been decided conclusively. Unfortunately, the Court did not make clear whether it considers such a registration system mandatory nor has this point been decided by any higher courts.
The only statement that can be made regarding the question of user registration is, that a non-anonymous and reliable registration system is advisable so that the Host Provider is not the only entity the court can get a hold of in case of a legal dispute.
It is undisputed that upon receiving a valid notification Linden Lab would be obliged to take down the illegal content. Until today their scope and nature have not really been clarified.
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Once Linden Lab has been notified of illegal content involving pornography or child pornography does this mean it would have to scan its platform for all future pornographic offers in order to avoid liability? Especially since the legal basis of the preventive duties is unclear in consideration of the wording of the TMG, they should not be overemphasized or extended further than the Supreme Court judgment requires. In the judgment the duty to control future content was limited to offers of a very similar content, in this case to other offers of Rolex watches.
The judgment emphasizes several times, that a duty to monitor is limited by the technical possibilities of the provider. It follows that Linden Lab would not be obliged to search the whole platform for pornographic content as this would effectively invalidate its privilege as a Host Provider. It would probably have to control the webspace of the user that had displayed the illegal content or any location where a similar content would be likely to be displayed again.
The measures used, such as filters etc. It simply means that the Host Provider should not hide behind his privilege if it is obvious to him that future infringements might occur. Before the implementation of this procedure, providers of foreign content were obliged to remove illegal content upon the receipt of a judicial order Renard and Barberis, , p.
Article 6 paragraph 1 Nr.
No obligation to prevent future infringements can be deduced from the language of the statute. However, apart from these general features the French legislature has added a few new aspects which are not part of the German or UK statute. Pursuant to Article 6 paragraph 2, for example, the Host Provider is legally obliged to obtain and to keep data of its users that allows their identification in case of dispute. Otherwise, if the Host cannot be held liable because he was privileged and the Content Provider cannot be detected, the damaged party or the state prosecution would have to close proceedings.
To deter third parties from filing incorrect notifications and in order to stop the diffusion of the information, the filing of abusive notifications is considered an offence and can be punished with a year of imprisonment and a fine of According to Article 6 paragraph 7 sub-paragraph 4, the Provider of foreign content has to inform the public authorities when he receives a notification.
In addition he has to install a mechanism that makes it easier for users to send a notification. In conclusion, the French implementation does contain a few elements which are different from the UK and German statutes but with regard to the duties of Host Providers it presents no material differences.
The Electronic Commerce Regulation also deviates from the Directive in so far as it is much more precise in defining when the Host Provider can be considered notified.
Similar to the French statute, Article 22 sets out the precise conditions of a notification that obliges the provider to take down the content. Although this provision is different to the German statute, the requirements for a notification have essentially been interpreted in the same way as the stipulations of the UK statute by the courts. Child pornography is generally banned, but pornographic content is not illegal in general, although the access for minors is regulated by youth protection laws.
Part of the media attention in the last weeks centred on the question as to whether the age verification system operated by Linden Lab fulfils the requirements of youth protection laws, in particular the strict conditions of the German legislation. By several institutions such as JusProg e.
As a reaction to the concerns regarding the inadequate protection of children and teenagers, Linden Lab has already improved its age verification system. To get an age-verified accountResidents must provide a few simple details about their identity — generally, name, date of birth, and address. Additionally, Residents will be asked to provide specific identifying information, such as a driver's license number, passport or national ID card number, or the last four digits of a social security number this is dependent on where geographically the Resident is based.
This is then cross-checked against pre-existing databases of public record to verify that Residents are of legal age. The individual federal state now has the competence to regulate youth protection in the context of electronic media. The regulation of media also involves supporting mediums, such as films, videos, DVDs and all sorts of video games.
The Treaty lists content which is considered harmful to children and teenagers. The distribution or making available of such content via any electronic media amounts to a summary offence and will be sanctioned with a fine up to Content listed in paragraph 2 may only be accessible to a restricted group of users. Besides the Provider is obliged to install an effective age verification system which ensures that only adult users can access the information.
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The required standard of such a system for it to be considered effective is extremely high. Several state courts have decided that systems requiring the registrant to identify himself by typing in the digits of an ID-number are insufficient, even in combination with a credit card number. The age verification system currently operated by Linden Lab obviously does not fulfil these requirements.
If pornographic or indicated content is found without the protection of an effective age verification system, the same liabilities arise as they do for the distribution or making available of content. To guarantee the uniformity of law the legislature has taken a horizontal approach when regulating Provider liability. The reductions and exemptions for host providers are therefore applicable to the law of youth protection as well.
He will not be held liable for any illicit content on his website except when his attention has been drawn to it. This policy would definitely be circumvented if he could be held liable for such content according to the JMStV or Criminal Law. As the Host Provider of a content-neutral information service Linden Lab would not be responsible for installing an effective age verification system.
According to the logic of the JMStV, the Content Provider would then be the one to have to fulfil the requirements and install an effective barrier to keep children and teenagers from downloading or viewing illicit content. In this case the Content Provider is the individual user who displays or offers pornographic content for download. But the user can only be identified as a minor by a verification system which according to the German youth protection law is unsatisfactory because it can be circumvented too easily.
This problem can only be solved either by Second Life installing a strict age-verification system although it is not obliged to do so or by changing the structure of the platform so that each user can determine the access criteria for his island. With regard to the importance attached to the protection of minors it cannot be expected that Linden Lab be released from the duty to install a satisfactory age-verification system. However, it should be noted, that the German Youth Protection Law is one of the most stringent and the most advanced with regard to the control of content in the Internet.
As a Host and not as a Content Provider Linden Lab cannot be held liable for illicit content transmitted or made available via its website. However, it should avoid structuring its platform in a way that facilitate or even promote the exchange of such content.
If anything in the structure or in the rules of the platform induces or facilitates the exchange of illegal content Linden Lab might be held liable for damages caused. The individual user creates content more independently than in a chat forum or on a business platform; however, he does not act as independently as if he were operating his own website. Linden Lab is a bit of both. Before the law has settled this issue, Linden Lab should do everything possible to avoid the exchange of illegal content on its platform. If the design of the platform could be adapted to create a safer virtual environment, this would be a good preventive measure.
There is actually no legal reason why children should engage in sexual activities at all. Another option would be a restructuring of the platform so as to allow a better distribution of responsibilities. None of the suggestions above is at present directly required by a statute.
They only serve as an inspiration for future legal developments. It is the combination of a whole range of different services which previously were provided by the Internet separately. In its role and function it is comparable to the Provider of chat forums or business platforms. To avoid liability the Provider merely has the legal obligation to act on notification and remove the illicit content.
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Further legal obligations might arise to avoid the reappearance of similar content. Problems could arise from European Youth Protection Laws, especially from the strict requirements of German youth protection law on age-verification systems.
Linden Lab would, with regard to its position as a Host Provider of a content-neutral platform, is not legally obliged to install an age-verification system. No European Youth Protection Law is going to be satisfied with a system of self-regulation with regard to age-verification. In terms of the legal assessment of liability, this classification is a contradiction in itself.
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Indeed, a generous interpretation of Par. The present case dealt with the presentation of copyright infringing content. The Host Provider could not be held liable because it did not become clear from the notification that the content really was infringing and thereby illegal. Skip to main content Skip to navigation Contents Abstract 1. The Problem at Hand 2. Design of the Platform — A Policy Recommendation 7. The design of the platform: If the design of the platform itself induces violent or sexually explicit activities or permits these activities to be covertly performed, the provider could be obliged to change the design or the structure of the game itself.