Freedom of Speech/ Media Law

It is quite common for companies to be critisized in the media. The reasons behind this are manifold. Accusations of violations of consumer protection laws or unfair conduct in competition are daily occurrences. In solving a conflict, questions regarding the extent of the freedom of speech play as much a role as the development of a proper communications strategy for the company in question. We provide assistance with protecting our clients' appearance in the public and defending their excellent reputation.

Our advice addresses the communication prior to journalistic reporting. After negative publications have been made about our clients, we enforce claims for counterstatements and clarification, correction, cease and desist, and for the revocation of false statements. The enforcement of claims for damages against media companies is permanently gaining importance.

To the extent that our clients are subject to special requirements under media law, we ensure that these are satisfied. The focus here is on matters such as the acquisition of licenses, the proper identification of online providers, or the protection of minors.

Over the years, for example, we have handled the following cases related to freedom of speech:

  • Action against public broadcasting corporation for damages in the amount of € 133 million due to inaccurate reporting about a Swiss telecommunications company
  • Numerous cease-and-desist declarations / preliminary injunctions due to inadmissible public statements about clients, including cases against Zentrale zur Bekämpfung unlauteren Wettbewerbs (Centre for Protection against Unfair Competition), the Berlin Consumer Association, and various media companiesEnforcement of the rights (including compensation for damages) of an online firm against the publisher of a music magazine
  • Protection aof personality rights of an entrepreneur against publications made by a consumer organisation
  • Protection of personality rights of an entrepreneur against the co-operator of an advertising sales engine (Google Germany GmbH)
  • Protection of an entrepreneur against defamatory statements in a legal journal