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German court slaps down Uber's ride-sharing app


A spokesman from Uber said: “We regret today’s interim ruling. We respect the German legal system. We will now wait to see the court’s reasoning and review it thoroughly."

The reasoning? I thought it was pretty bloody simple: German law requires all drivers who transport paying customers to be insured for that. German law further requires all drivers wishing to be insured in this fashion to have the appropriate licensing.

These drivers do not have the licensing so they can not be insured and so they are not permitted to carry paying passengers.

I just don't see how it could be simpler: if you carry paying passengers without a license and insurance to do so, you are breaking the law.

This is just like several trades in Australia - if you do (certain) electrical work without a license you are breaking the law and so get fined. This Uber service is therefore akin to one where unlicensed contractors can register and potential clients can use an app to connect them with one of these unlicensed contractors and engage them to perform unlicensed work. Oh, and then arrange payment - through the app and service.

If such a service existed it would be banned because it would exist to not only facilitate unlawful behaviour but to encourage it and manage payment for it.

Whether Uber is good or bad or cheap or a rip-off or game-changing or disruptive is irrelevant - driving a taxi service without a taxi license is illegal in Germany.

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