An obligation to use the so-called real name is ineffective, decided the third civil senate on Thursday, January 27, 2022 in Karlsruhe. (Az. III ZR 3/21 and others) Because of a change in the law, the judgment only applies to old cases.
The network suspended the accounts of a man and a woman in 2018 because their fancy names violated the terms of service. The Munich Higher Regional Court, which had recently ruled on the lawsuits, had agreed with Facebook.
The background is a new legal situation: the German Telemedia Act obliges providers to allow the use of their services “anonymously or under a pseudonym, insofar as this is technically possible and reasonable”. The old EU law did not stand in the way of this. But since May 2018, a new data protection law has been in force in the European Union that expressly does not contain such a provision. The BGH judges have now decided the cases according to the old legal situation. “Therefore, the immediate reach of our decision is limited to old cases,” said the presiding judge, Ulrich Herrmann. (dpa/rw)