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IRIS 2012-5:1/15

Germany

KJM Grants FSF Broader Powers

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Katharina Grenz

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

In a decision of 7 March 2012, the Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz der Landesmedienanstalten (Land Media Authorities’ Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media - KJM) agreed to broaden the powers of Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Television Industry - FSF).

FSF had asked for its remit to be extended to include television-like telemedia content. The non-profit-making association of private television providers had previously been responsible for checking the intensity of violent or sexual content of television programmes and deciding at what time they could be broadcast on German television. As a result of the KJM’s decision, it is now also responsible for television-like content on the Internet. In principle, this includes the same content as before, i.e., films, TV series and documentaries, in the form in which they are offered on the Internet.

The KJM president stressed that the decision had been taken in the light of increasing media convergence. If, as a result of FSF’s broader powers, more providers of television-like content via telemedia could be persuaded to submit their content in advance to the self-regulatory bodies, youth protection would be significantly improved. Following the recognition of Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry - FSK) and Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (Voluntary Self-Regulation of Entertainment Software - USK), which are responsible for the age classification of films and online computer games respectively (see IRIS 2011-9/16), a further step had now been taken to enhance the protection of young people in the media. This mainly concerned Internet content that could harm the development of minors, for which each provider must take its own measures to protect young people. This protection could be improved further in the future if cases could be referred back to the various self-regulatory bodies on a voluntary basis in a kind of “regulated self-regulation” system.

References
Pressemitteilung der KJM vom 8. März 2012 DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15786
 
  KJM press release, 8 March 2012