A Contacts (Latin imprint " Into Depressed " or " Broken Oppressed ") is a statutory declaration of origin in publications containing information on the publisher, author, editor or editorial contains, especially in order to make press law knowable by the content manager. Often additional information, such as printing, publication, year of publication and publication are listed. Have or had additional information, such as the tax situation of the publisher or a test was carried out by the censorship may be included, depending on the type of publication and specific legislation.

  • 2.1 Germany
  • 2.2 Austria
  • 2.3 Switzerland

The imprint in the book


The ancestral place of the imprint was in the early letterpress nor the foot of the title page of a book. Often bordered a graphic element - a line, a strip of ornaments - the imprint from. It traded mostly the publication, the publisher (sometimes with shop address) and the year of publication. In addition, information came sometimes to the printer ( in English: " printed by the [Printers ] for [ Publisher ]") to booksellers, who led the titles on offer in addition to the main publishers, and also the information about a privilege, if the main publisher for the present book had obtained the protection of the sovereign against piracy.

John Lair, born in 1476 Sieglar (now Troisdorf- Sieglar ) died in 1554 in Siegburg, also called John Siberch ( derived from his residence Siegburg ), founded in 1520 the university's in Cambridge (England). 1521, he got his first job: Oratio, the speech that Dr. Henry Bullock on the occasion of the visit of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey held in Cambridge. On this occasion there was in a letterpress for the first time a legal notice: " Impressa per me Ioannem Siberch " ".

In the band A Select Collection of Novels from 1722 is the imprint:

" LONDON: Printed for J. Watts; And Sold by W. Mears at the Lamb without Temple - Bar, J. Broterton and W. Meadows at the Black Bull in Cornhill, W. Chetwood in Russel - Street, Covent -Garden, and J. Lacy at the Ship Between The two Temple - Gates, Fleet Street. MDCCXXII. "

London is the place of printing here, J. Watts stands as a major publisher, the other names are those of business partners who share the broad support for the joint marketing. The store addresses here with references to the emblems - " Lamb " ( German: "Lamb "), " Black- Bull" ( German: "Black Bull" ), " Ship" ( German: "ship" ) - the shop signs indicated, hanging in the streets listed on the shop doors. 1722 is the year of printing.

From the 16th century printers were obliged to carry a publisher's imprint. This served mainly to make the title for the customers to grasp because it was listed through which traders, the book could relate. With cheaper productions that were not sold in bookstores, but lacked Imprint information regularly, and scandalous books were booksellers and publishers waive their nomination. However, it announced a title effectively as scandalous to when an obviously fictitious imprint was set. Thus a variety of pseudonyms and misleading Verlagsortangaben. Among the bogus publishers' addresses the Pierre Marteau took to Cologne in the course of the 17th century a prominent position. Publishers in total ( the Netherlands inclusive ) French-and German-speaking countries took advantage of his name to a safe place to publish politically sensitive books and pirated relative. At the same time they had the advantage to benefit from the common advertising platform.

Only through the development of the publishing and media law won the imprint obligation. Today it is prescribed by law press to clarify the liability of the publisher and printer. For those responsible should be " criminal, civil and press law may be liable at any time. "

Location and content

The precise printing information can be found today mostly on the back of the title page, on page 4 of the book block. The imprint is part of the title page and can be found on the Contacts page. The imprint features demanded by the copyright and desired by libraries information about the book. The data listed in the imprint are also relevant for quotes. Included are:

  • The edition number and the year edition
  • The publisher, in some cases the original publisher,
  • The year in which the work was first published
  • Publisher
  • Information to set, printing and bookbinding
  • Information about the cover design
  • Copyright Information
  • Naming the type of paper and standards that it meets (ISO, DIN)
  • Designation of the paper mill
  • Cover materials
  • Fonts used
  • Information on translation rights
  • Information for Figure rights
  • The country in which the book was printed
  • ISBN
  • Internet address of the publisher, author, manufacturer

Not all of these points must be listed in the imprint. So in the imprint of a book without pictures also no evidence to Figure rights is needed. The type of paper is usually only included when the book was printed on special ( for example, aging-resistant ) paper.

The imprint of book design perspective

In some books there is the Contacts page for aesthetic reasons on one of the last pages, as ISBN, printing notices and copyright issues offer little potential for a designer. In other books, in turn, the imprint is divided so that front the most important information, other less relevant information, however, can be found on the second last page of the book. This is due to the decision of the book designer and typographer.

Contacts in other media

After the Internet opened in the 1990s, the general public and the World Wide Web became popular, the demand for a clear imprint in the German-speaking area around the year 2002 showed.


In Germany, the imprint obligation for newspapers and magazines in the press laws of the individual states is regulated. An imprint must be easy to recognize, to reach directly and permanently available.

On 1 March 2007, the German Teleservices Act was replaced by the Telemedia Act. § 5 TMG regulates the following: "Service providers have the following for businesslike, offered usually paid Telemedia information easily recognizable, immediately accessible and shall be kept available. ". The required disclosures are very different (depending on the legal form or profession of the provider ). Telemedia are essentially " all electronic information and communication services." Since a service can be businesslike without being commercial, private, non-commercial websites could fall under the imprint obligation. The text has now laid down, so that only Telemedia, which are normally provided for remuneration, must meet the information requirements, while purely privately operated sites are excluded. Eligible costs are Telemedia but even then, if a web site itself is offered free of charge, but is used as an entry or advertisement for reimbursable services. According to a decision of the Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf, the imprint must contain the full name of the person responsible, an abbreviation of the first name contrary to § 5 TMG. More information obligations may result from the service information requirements regulation. Since neither the Teleservices Act nor the State Broadcasting Treaty the term " imprint " used, but only speak of information requirements, different names for the mandatory details have been established. In addition to the commonly used term " imprint " these are for example: " Webimpressum ", " Imprint " or "Contact".

For all non - teleservices the State Broadcasting Treaty also called for an imprint (fixed earlier in the Media Services State Treaty). Both laws require that the relevant information " easily recognizable, accessible directly and permanently accessible " need to be.


In Austria, the imprint obligation for providers of content on websites in § 5 paragraph 1 E -Commerce Act (ECG ) is regulated. With the E -Commerce Act, the Austrian legislator - as well as the German legislator with the Teleservices Act or the Media Services State Agreement - implemented the European E -Commerce Directive. In order for the Legal obligations within the EU are largely harmonized. Differences arise only by country-specific features. The lack of such information can be both administrative criminally punishable ( § 26 ECG, a fine of up to 3,000 EUR ) as well as civil law with injunction. However, the authority may also indicate a provider on the instance of maladministration and apply it to him to fix up to a specified period. If he does this, he is not expected according to § 27 with a penalty.


In Switzerland, under Article 322 of the Criminal Code an imprint obligation for newspapers and magazines. This must be " in the imprint the seat of the media company, significant holdings in other companies and the responsible editor specify ".

From 1 April 2012, the imprint obligation is extended to certain websites. Based on the European E -Commerce Directive Article 3 of the Federal Law writes against Unfair Competition (UWG ) from this date before that " whoever goods, works or services in electronic commerce offers ", while " clear and complete information about its identity and its contact address must including those of electronic mail make ".