Hans-Josef Vogel on Social Media Plug-Ins: Recent Court Decisions in Germany

Hans-Josef Vogel on Social Media Plug-Ins: Recent Court Decisions in Germany

By Hans-Josef Vogel

Social media plug-ins, such as the Facebook "Like" button, have become ubiquitous on the internet. Their legal implications are yet not fully determined. Issues of both data protection law and fair trade matters are commonly disputed.

Two recent German court decisions hold that even if a violation of data protection laws might be at hand, competitors cannot petition the courts to examine the usage of social media plug-ins on competitors' websites.

This commentary discusses the reasoning behind those decisions and the questions to be addressed in making use of social media plug-ins.

About the Author:

Prof. Dr. Hans-Josef Vogel is a partner with BEITEN BURKHARDT Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, a leading German international law firm. He specializes in corporate and commercial law, including mergers and acquisitions, and financing and capitalization issues. He also focuses on technology, and is one of the leading lawyers in counseling the tourism and leisure industry in Germany, particularly about social media. He teaches law at Bad Honnef University and is the former chair of the International Bar Association's Leisure Industries Section.

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