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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 1 Issue: 5
(May 1999)


Virgin Net Ltd has obtained everything that it asked for in an out of court settlement with Adrian Parris trading as Pro Photo UK in what was billed as Britain’s first ever spamming case (as reported in E-Commerce Law & Policy, May 1999). / read more

A Digital Minister will be appointed to take responsibility for promoting e-commerce in the UK and abroad, while the idea of creating a Digital Envoy has been quietly dropped. / read more

The EU and the US were still struggling to come up with an agreement, as we went to press, in their talks on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, in time for the June 21 summit. / read more


There is more than one government in the world trying to create the best competitive environment for e-commerce. At the recent ICX (International Commerce Exchange) conference in Dublin, speakers representing the Irish, UK and Canadian governments stood up, one after the other, to proclaim their administrations steps to be the best in the world for e-commerce. / read more

The special encryption task force set up at the request of Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for the creation of a new international forum ‘to promote co-operation on policy, law enforcement, and technical and standard matters relating to encryption’. / read more

Bank of Ireland is to launch Fsharp, claimed to be the first internet offshore banking service, on 4 September 1999 subject to final regulatory approval. The new service is aimed at people living and working abroad and is based in the Isle of Man. / read more

Intellectual Property Rights holders, Telcos and ISPs remain locked in a lobbying war over the Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the Information Society. / read more

The Initial Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting in Berlin at the end of May has broadly welcomed the proposals in a report of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on Domain Name policy. / read more

On 18 November 1998, a proposal for a new Directive was issued by the European Commission (amended by the European Parliament in May this year) described as dealing with “certain aspects of electronic commerce in the internal market”. The new proposal therefore purports to build upon and complete the Commission’s past initiatives by eliminating the remaining legal obstacles to e-commerce, while protecting consumer interests. / read more

The broadcasting industry is developing at a frenetic pace as the impact of convergence presents exciting new opportunities for content providers, broadcasters and consumers alike. The emergence of broadband technologies such as ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber lines) and the development of compression technologies has facilitated this change and enabled interactive broadcasting to become a reality. Last October BSkyB introduced the first digital satellite television service in the UK and ON-Digital launched its terrestrial digital service shortly after. One of the results of these changes (and the resultant blurring of distinctions between industries) has been that regulators have had to re-assess their role and look beyond the means of transmission as a mechanism to justify authority to regulate. / read more

This article examines some of the issues which must be considered when deciding whether the establishment of an offshore structure for trade on the Internet will be beneficial. Typically such a structure would involve the incorporation of a company in a low tax jurisdiction, which would establish a website there through which customers in other jurisdictions (such as the UK) would be able to select and purchase goods and services. / read more

The proposed Directive on Distance Marketing of Financial Services1 received its first reading in the European Parliament on 5 May 1999. Concerns that the European Parliament might opt for a minimum harmonisation approach, to the detriment of suppliers located in the more highly regulated jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, were not realised. The European Parliament endorsed the maximum harmonisation approach favoured by the European Commission in its proposal of 14 October 1998 and proposed a raft of amendments, most of which are to be welcomed. The Action Plan for Financial Services which the Commission adopted on 11 May 1999# aims at achieving adoption of the Directive before the end of 19992 and implementation in 2000. / read more

Columbia has taken an important first step in enacting the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce as permanent internal legislation. / read more

The German Federal Government has decided to lift all internal restrictions on the use and development of encryption. Following a Federal Cabinet Meeting on 2 June, the government made plain its determination to assist in the development of secure e-commerce. / read more

In May, 23,673 .uk domain names were registered with Nominet UK, the registrar of .uk domain names, the highest number ever registered. The total number of .uk names now registered stands at 284,610, a 33% increase since 1 January 1999. / read more

The Swedish Supreme Administrative Court is considering whether to hear an appeal from American Airlines Inc against a ruling by the Swedish Data Inspection Board (DIB) that American Airlines could only transfer data from Sweden to their CRS-SABRE system in the USA if the data subjects were notified and gave their permission. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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