In Germany, a few blogs and websites have already decided to throw in the towel before a new law comes into effect from January 1, 2011.
The so-called Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag (JMStV) will task anyone operating a .de domain with adding an age certificate to his or her website.
Sounds like a dumb idea, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it is set to become reality due to politicians ratifying the law in the parliaments of Germany's 16 federal states.
Age verification processes are already in place for German porn sites, which require users to have their age and identity checked to make sure they're not simply using dad's credit card. Verification using Deutsche Post's Postident identity check is the
As a consequence, popular German blog VZlog.de has said it will go offline on New Year's Eve. VZlog.de states it doesn't have the resources to check all of its content and comments, nor does it have the technical resources to slap an 18 certificate on
it, make certain its readers are 18 and above using Postident, or simply put the site online at midnight and take it offline again in the early hours.
It seems the only people set to profit are lawyers, who are going to have a field day next year. Lawyers are expected to start sending out cease and desist letters to websites, telling them they're breaking the law and have to pay a couple of thousand