Membership and legal protection

In Germany, content providers must comply with the obligations of the Youth Media Protection State Agreement (JMStV). This includes providers and developers of games, videos, vendors of online or retail media or operators of news portals for potentially harmful media contents (for example game trailers or movies). For companies it’s not easy to differ between mandatory legal requirements and unnecessary high restrictions for users. This is where the USK comes for your help.

Due to the German Age Rating board being officially acknowledged under the Youth Media Protection State Agreement (JMStV), the USK can act as an effective protective shield between the provider and supervising bodies for its members. Therefore, it releases the provider from liability for the content of his product. Alleged contraventions by members are to be judged first of all by the USK in line with Art. 20, Section 5 of the Youth Media Protection State Agreement. Supervisory measures and fines for regulatory offences against the provider privileged through the membership are not permitted. At the same time your company benefits though optional training sessions, feasibility studies for new projects and from the 20+ years of experience of the USK in the Youth Protection sector. 

If you are uncertain if your specific company can benefit from a membership, a Basic Package can help to clarify and check the necessity of legal consulting regarding your online content in Germany. 

The compliance of legal regulations and a high youth protection standard of our members are awarded with the USK quality seal. This seal can be integrated into websites or any other offers by your company and can be used for general corporate communication. 

Companies can choose between a standard and premium membership option (see cost overview). The following list shows an excerpt of our services for members of the USK:

  • Well-tailored youth protection solutions:
    Every member of the USK receives a customized youth protection concept which fits best for the current online contents of that company. Our claim is to not only enable legal protection, but to ensure youth protection with sense and simplicity.
  • Legal Protection for administrate measurements and fines:
    Members of the USK benefit from our legal prior involvement protection from the German Age Rating Board. German state authorities like the KJM or are not allowed to impose any fines and are bound to contact the USK regarding any immanent processes. 
  • Analysis of specific contents:
    Youth relevance levels of any content (game, trailer, reports) can be assessed by experts of the USK. Fast and effective consulting can be given on a daily basis and for every-day questions as well as for in-depth analysis of new online or offline projects in the vast field of game media.
  • Technical consulting and implementation:
    The USK offers technical aid up to fully functional youth protection modules (Age-de.xml-Labeling for acknowledged youth protection software or an ID-Check module) for all kinds of online offers. A formal validation of new technical concepts under the Youth Protection State Treaty is possible as well. 
  • Youth Protection Representative:
    Commercial website providers of contents which are possibly harmful to children or young people must appoint a Youth Protection Representative. The USK can take on this function for its members and offers a full coverage-service as official representative for your company.
  • Best practice guidelines:
    The USK offers different themed guidelines which combine the long experience of the USK in the field of youth protection. They can be used as reference for daily work decisions. For example, they cover different topics like “Youth protection relevance in trailer videos”, “Reporting on indexed Media”; “Gambling in video games” or “Legal regulations in the mail order section”.
  • General training:
    The USK offers many training modules both for singe persons and groups. Possible modules range from full-day training in Berlin to minute-timed training of Product Managers or Video Editors around the world. 
  • Political Engagement:
    Being a federally approved self-regulatory rating board, we continue to work on a political level for an appropriate development of youth protection regulations and support the interests of our members. At the same time, we invest our time into social and media education projects. 
  • Age rating in the classification committee:
    Every company has the right to submit its game to the USK and request a legal binding age rating by the classification committee of the USK. On top of this, members of the USK can submit concrete youth protection measurements and technical solutions and ask for official legal confirmation.

Lorenzo von Petersdorff