Photo, Sebastian Schwiddessen LL.M.

Sebastian Schwiddessen LL.M.

Associate
Baker & McKenzie Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten und Steuerberatern mbB

Biography

Sebastian Schwiddessen is a senior associate and a member of Baker McKenzie's TMT Practice in Munich. Sebastian has been working in the entertainment and video games industry for over 18 years. With 21 he founded his own media news related business and web portal where he oversaw up to 50 content creators and was responsible for advertisement and regulatory matters. After joining Baker McKenzie in 2014, he sold his business to fully focus on his career as a legal advisor in the media and IT sector. Sebastian’s clients range from platform providers over market leading video gaming, film and entertainment companies to indie publishers. Sebastian is well-known as an advisor in the video games and entertainment sector. He also regularly advises a wide range of leading social media companies and video-sharing-platforms on regulatory and copyright related matters. Sebastian maintains good contacts to a a number of regulators in Germany where he has been invited several times to speak as legal expert on regulatory and other matters. Sebastian is Baker McKenzie’s designated contact for the GAME association in Germany and regularly visits video game industry events such as the Gamescom, VGBA Law Summit and the Games Industry Law Summit where he meets his clients.

Practice Focus

Sebastian's practice focuses on all matters of media and IT law, including media related youth protection and criminal laws, hate speech laws, data protection law, copyright law, gambling laws, eCommerce, app commerce, contract law, film taxes etc. Sebastian also regularly advises on the media and IT aspects of M&A activities and was involved in several entertainment industry related M&A transactions. Amongst others, he advised several video games and movie publishers on blacklisting procedures to lift the ban of over 20 video games and movies. He was the lead coordinator in relation to several loot box proceedings in different jurisdictions, including Belgium and the Netherlands. He also represented a leading video games publisher and several movie publishers on a variety of court proceedings to lift the criminal law ban of video games and movies in Germany.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised several video gaming and film companies on blacklisting procedures to lift the ban of almost 20 video games and films.
  • Advised on a broad range of data protection matters including administrative proceedings initiated by a data protection authority in conjunction with a large M&A transaction.
  • Advised various video game companies on loot boxes, including land mark proceedings in the NL and Belgium.
  • Advised Sony on the rehabilitation of the banned movie “The Evil Dead” (Tanz der Teufel), including court and administrative proceedings.
  • Responsible for land mark proceedings for Apple/iTunes before the European General Court against the German film tax on foreign VoD providers.
  • Advised on and appealed several age-rating decisions in Australia and Germany.
  • Advised various video gaming companies on the localization of terms of use and other eCommerce matters.

Professional Honors

Head of the Month, JUVE 10/2016

Admissions

  • Germany (2014)

Education

  • Bond University (Master of Law) (2014)
  • High Regional Court of Berlin (Second State Exam) (2012)
  • Freie Universitaet of Berlin (First State Exam) (2010)

Languages

  • English
  • German

Interviews

Interview, The Pod (www.gamespodcast.de): Simuliertes Glücksspiel und Jugendschutz

Interview, The Pod (www.gamespodcast.de): Verfassungswidrig – Eine Reportage über den Umgang mit Hakenkreuzen in Computerspielen

Publications

Author, "Loot Boxes in Japan: Legal Analysis and Kompu Gacha Explained", 3 August 2018

Author, "French gambling regulator releases its position on Loot Boxes", LinkedIn, 30 June 2018

Presentations

Legal Expert (Sachverständiger), "Durchwirkungsregelung des neuen JMStV – Anmerkungen aus praktischer Sicht, rechtsmissbräuchliche Anträge und Zensurverbot", Gremien-Sitzung der Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM) zur Etablierung des Durchwirkungsverfahrens, Mai 2016