Legal framework

Data protection
Law enforcement
Consumer protection

All digital games generate data and many data uses are necessary and therefore permitted for the functioning, improvement and further development of computer and video games. game advocates a modern data law that takes informational self-determination seriously and at the same time makes economic and technical progress possible.

The European GDPR was a first important step on the way to a digital internal market with uniform competition conditions and generally applicable data protection standards. In order to further harmonise data protection rules, the ePrivacy Regulation is also intended to introduce new rules on electronic communication (cookies). For the games industry, it is important that this Regulation also allows data to be used to improve the gaming experience. Data processing for legitimate interests should therefore be permitted. In addition to uniform regulations throughout Europe, equal application of the law in all European countries and, if possible, centralised supervision in Germany are also needed. For the international computer and video games industry in particular, international agreements for data transfer to other countries are indispensable, for example following the Brexit with Great Britain or because of the recent ruling of the ECJ (Schrems II) on the EU-US Privacy Shield with regard to server-based games. Here, the EU and also the data protection authorities must find solutions as quickly as possible to ensure that data can be used in a legally secure manner.

Positioning of ISFE on ePrivacy Regulation

Widespread software and product piracy poses serious problems for the games industry and threatens the economic livelihood of many computer and video game developers and publishers. Entertainment software providers use various tools such as technical copy protection devices or server-based gaming to protect the intellectual property of many creatives. Nevertheless, the damage is substantial and continues to increase through pirate servers and illegal keyselling.

game is committed to fight piracy through active participation in the legislative process and preventive education and, in the medium term, to reducing the economic damage to the games industry. To this end, game exchanges information with other industry associations and regularly commissions landscaping on illegal uses of games in Germany. In addition, the game coordinates measures to combat structurally copyright infringing websites.

MMR Supplement 8/2020 on Protection of Minors in the Games Industry

Copyright law is the legal framework for the production and distribution of digital goods such as computer and video games. game is committed to ensuring that creative services are remunerated fairly and that overly complicated copyright law does not become a locational disadvantage for German developers and publishers. This requires further harmonisation of copyright law at European level.

In the production of computer and video games, numerous creative people are involved in a highly division of labour, such as storytellers, game producers, game and level designers, graphic designers, programmers, composers and sound designers. This complex value chain must be able to be represented by copyright law. But also the performance of publishers, who pay authors appropriately and combine their services to create a computer game, must enjoy adequate protection through copyright and ancillary copyright. As investment protection, copyright law must help to ensure that computer and video games are developed in Germany as well.

Games content for Let's Plays and Walkthroughs can so far be used on social media platforms easily and free of charge with the permission of most publishers. When implementing Art. 17 of the latest EU Directive on Copyright, it must be taken into account that this is still possible and that the legitimate interests of publishers are garanteed.

Statement on the implementation of the DSM Directive

The distribution of computer and video games is subject to the same consumer protection rules as all other goods and services. The game advocates uniform and comprehensible standards that effectively protect the informed consumer.

The computer and video games industry has developed many new business models that are also groundbreaking for other industries. Most games can be experienced with other players and many players contribute to new game worlds with their user-generated content. A uniform European law on the sale of digital goods makes sense, but it must take into account the special features and different distribution channels of the games industry. The general warranty regulations as well as revocation or termination have proven their worth. Digital goods must not be placed in a worse position than all other goods and services. All this must be taken into account in the upcoming implementation of the European Digital Content Directive.