Protection of Minors in Telemedia

Self-regulation

In line with the principle of „regulated self-regulation“, organisations of voluntary self-regulation can also be established for telemedia content. They must be certified by the KJM.

Organisations of voluntary self-regulation check that the provisions of the JMStV are adhered to by their members. The KJM must check if the decisions taken by the organisation under the system of regulated self-regulation keep within the legal scope of assessment afforded to the respective organisation. If a self-regulation organisation exceeds this scope, the KJM can take legal action, if, for instance, the self-regulation organisation has ignored the necessary procedures, commits procedural errors, or has not kept to the general principles of assessment. The KJM also draws up statutes and directives which the self-regulation organisations must maintain.

Organisations seeking certification by the KJM as self-regulation organisations must file an according application. The KJM conducts a careful assessment and hears the applicant. In order to be certified, the bodies of the organisation must meet certain requirements such as ensuring appropriate conditions for the examiners being able to ensure the protection of minors in an effective way (Art. 19 (3) no. 3 JMStV) or recruiting independent, competent experts also from the breadth of society.

The voluntary self-regulation organisation for the internet (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia - FSM) was certified by the KJM on 23 November 2004. The model of regulated self-regulation regarding telemedia content takes a different effect as compared to broadcasting content transmitted on TV. Telemedia are characterised by the speed of the internet. Advance control of websites prior to their distribution in the internet is not envisaged. The members of the FSM include a number of renowned German internet providers and companies. However, due to the diversity and large number of internet providers in Germany, it is unlikely that all providers of telemedia that could have some relevance regarding the protection of minors would ever become members of an organisation of voluntary self-regulation. The model of regulated self-regulation does not apply to non-members. The protection of children and adolescents will therefore always require a strong body supervising the media.