Danckert Bärlein Partner

Criminal Liability in IT and Media Law

The digital era has generated its own criminal law. Nevertheless, laws and court decisions lag more than a few steps behind the rapid technical progress.

To combat new forms of illegality, new provisions have been created, such as the use of hacking tools (§ 202c Penal Code). Existing criminal prohibitions have also been newly interpreted. The result is a complex and often confusing web of legal prohibitions that often go much farther than those contained in the Penal Code. Intellectual property, data protection, and competition laws are increasing in importance in new areas in which they were previously marginal.

We help firms to navigate the jungle of provisions and avoid the risk of criminal liability. We also provide legal defense in response to investigations of alleged violations relating to IT.

Our team also has considerable experience in “traditional” press law and matters involving defamation or insult. We support journalists and media companies in preventive assessment of potential criminal liability risks and defend our clients’ rights all the way from initial investigation to constitutional complaints. Our lawyers have successfully defended press freedoms in landmark cases such as the “Cicero Magazine” case decided by the Federal Constitutional Court.

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