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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 1 Issue: 9
(September 1999)


The first meeting of the E-Commerce Law & Policy Forum took place earlier this month in Brussels to discuss the development of e-commerce legislation and regulation in Europe. / read more

More than half a million .uk Domain Names have been registered with Nominet UK. / read more

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is to tighten up its approach to company’s breaking their own privacy guidelines. The announcement earlier this month follows on from a Forrester Research Report that 90 percent of web sites fail to comply with basic privacy principles. / read more


The issue of jurisdiction and the internet has figured strongly in European debates in the last few months. Last month Dick Hudig, the Secretary General of UNICE attacked the European Commission for challenging the country of origin principle. / read more filed suit on 13 October in U.S. District Court against Microsoft Corporation and its Expedia Inc. subsidiary, claiming that’s recently introduced hotel service infringes on’s U.S. Patent #5,794,207. / read more

The UK Data Protection Registrar has issued a 4-step procedure to deal with the controversial prohibition on transferring personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area that do not ensure an adequate level of privacy protection. / read more

Although e-commerce and competition regulation may appear to be odd bedfellows, their respective paths cross far more often than many involved in e-businesses sometimes realise. The aim of competition requirements are to control anti-competitive agreements, abuses of market dominance and those mergers which would create market dominance. The impact of these laws can be real - several large scale business-to-business and business-to-consumer projects have fallen because of competition regulation. This article aims to summarise the core of competition regulation in the UK, which covers both UK and EU law and how it impacts on e-commerce. It must be borne in mind, however, that other jurisdictions may also need to be considered, for instance, in the situation where an internet site gathers a significant number of customers from outside of the UK. / read more

Recent computer-related patent registrations in the US and their enforcement by the US Courts has prompted many to ask why the approach to the patentability of software is different in Europe and the UK. Analysis shows, however, that the differences are not as great as most people think and that the European Patent Office and the UK Patent and Trade Mark Office appear willing and able to adapt their policy in the light of new technology. / read more

The UK Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise issued a joint paper on 6 October 1998 on UK tax policy regarding electronic commerce in which it was stated that “tax must not be allowed to stifle the growth of electronic commerce and the aim should be for tax rules and tax compliance to be neutral between electronic commerce and more traditional forms of commerce”. Without doubt this is a noble aim but applying the same tax rules to both electronic e-commerce transactions and terrestrial transactions is proving especially difficult for HM Customs & Excise. The Institute of Directors1 report published in August 1999 concludes that “VAT revenues are under threat from electronic commerce, and there is also a danger of economic distortion”. / read more

Digital signatures are electronic identities used to present an individual’s credentials on line. If an e-mail or document has a digital certificate/signature, it is a guarantee that it is from whoever it says it is from and that it has not been altered as from the time the (digital) signature was applied. These digital identities are usually issued by a trusted third party, i.e., a provider of certification services. / read more

Advertising over the Internet will not be sufficent to allow out of state companies to be sued in Texas the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 17. / read more

The struggle to create uniform digital commerce laws across the United States is falling foul of disagreements between different industry sectors about form the laws should take / read more

Last month business leaders from key sectors of e-commerce endorsed a set of principles for self-regulation in relation to doing business on the internet drawn up by the Global Business Alliance. / 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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