Impressum is a word derived from Latin. It is generally used in countries where German is spoken and serves to confirm possession or execution of some type of document.
An example can be seen in brochures, in books, in magazines, in newspapers and even on websites developed in central Europe.
In the rest of the countries there is no word that exactly defines “impressum” in its context. Literally translated, it would be equivalent to the word “footprint”.However, this definition covers a series of data that are considered required by law. These data must be specified in some countries such as Germany, Switzerland or Austria.
Data required for impressum
The data that these countries require in any document to identify a property must include several sections.
In addition to personal names, data such as the date and place of publication, edition, the tax situation or any censorship revision must appear. What is intended with this is the absolute reliability of any type of public content.
In any case, this data could be compared with that offered in other countries. These would be similar to those that can be found in the section where the data of the collaborators of a publication appears.
The information of the chief editors, the director, the publisher or, in the same way, the company that makes the publication must appear.
What is an impressum for?
The impressum indicates the legal origin of the publications. These include information on the persons responsible for the written arguments.
In many cases a declaration of ownership can also be required on websites. For example, in the case of Facebook, anyone with the intention of creating a page must fill in a section to provide greater credibility to their site.
To do this you can do it through a few steps that will be indicated in the country that requests it (in the menu “Edit information”, “Ownership and Authorship”). As of today, this is only required in the aforementioned countries.
As of 2014, this social platform has a section so that companies advertised on Facebook can publish their legal terms and conditions.
In the field “Page information” you can find the section “Impressum” (ownership and authorship), through which you can write the legal notice or determine a link by going to the website for more information.
Impressum to ensure reliability
The introduction of impressum serves to offer and guarantee confidence to any user. Readers, followers and clients who want to enlighten themselves through any type of written document will have the quality guarantee required by law in those countries.
These actions offer a more professional and reliable image, in addition to being transparent. For example, in the case of a lawyer, in countries like Germany he must publish his registration number.
In addition, you must include your name and other personal data that guarantee the reliability and authenticity of your professionalism.
In each country you can consult the local legislation. This is to examine the type of information to include in the impressum. The process is carried out to rule out errors and fraud.
Impressum on website
The web portals registered in the aforementioned German-speaking countries, whether with a .com or local domain (.de for example), must provide the personal data of the owner or fiscal entity in charge of managing the website in the impressum.
In the following image we can see how the spiegel.de portal, domain of the German media outlet Der Spiegel, adds the impressum in the footer of its website.
This also applies to social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In the case of Facebook, as specified in its configuration section, the following steps must be carried out to enter the impressum.
- Go to your page.
- Click Edit page info in the menu on the left.
- Look for the Impressum section to edit it with your information.
- Click Save changes.
Continuing with the case of Der Spiegel, the impressum is quickly visible on its Facebook profile, which is located next to the rest of the information data.
Impressum in companies
The business impressum would be exactly the same document that could be applied on a web page, but being in print and not digital. It must be physically in the company, in case any client, employee or institution wanted to access it.
Therefore, the impressum that you would find on the spiegel.de website would be the same that they have in the Der Spiegel offices, located in Hamburg.
- Wikipedia.es (2015). Impressum 2017, from Wikipedia org. Website: definition and function of Impressum according to Wikipedia
- Digital Law (2016). Legal notice for pages 2017, of Digital Guide. Website: Digital guide to legal notices
- Wikipedia org. (2010). Impressum in Germany 2017, from Wiki.org. Website: Diskussion: Impressum
- Wörterbuch Deustch (2012). ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD IMPRESSUM 2017, by Wörterbuch Deustch. Website: worterbuchdeutsch.com