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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 12
(December 2009)


Six weeks after the EU Parliament and the EU Council adopted an amendment to the e-Privacy Directive, stating that 'consent' of users is necessary for the storing of cookies on their computers, companies are starting to come to terms with the new wording and preparing for the 18 months ahead ≠ the period within which Member States must transpose the amendment into their legislation. "The next 18 months will be crucial," said Eduardo Ustaran, Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse. "A number of organisations are currently considering what the right channels are to influence the legislative process at Member State level." / read more

eBay was fined €1.7 million (£1.5 million) by the Paris Commercial Tribunal, on 30 November, for the 'unlawful marketing', on its online auction platform, of luxury perfumes from Louis Vuitton Malletier (LVMH) brands. The fine was issued after it emerged eBay was late in implementing a 30 June 2008 judgment requiring it to impose 'technical filters' to restrict the sale of certain luxury goods ≠ in this case perfumes - and prevent the sale of counterfeit LVMH products on its website. Although eBay conformed to the Tribunal's decision in 2008, the online auction site was fined a symbolic penalty for every 'late' day in complying with it ≠ the 2009 decision comes as a round-up of what eBay still owed LVMH. / read more

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - the non-profit organisation that manages domain name attribution on the internet - launched its Fast Track process on 16 November, allowing non-English speakers to apply for top-level domain names (TLDs) in their own language. / read more


Rupert Murdoch's speech to the US Federal Trade Commission about the 'Future of Journalism', on 3 December, has accelerated an unavoidable development at a time where a the internet is maturing. / read more

UK Government introduces Digital Economy Bill into Parliament
UK Government to push ahead with extension of data collection
ICO to guide companies on how to protect privacy online
Dates for your diary / read more

Twitter, one of the latest social networking sites, is at the centre of much controversy, notably because companies ≠ and their employees - are turning to it as a means of promoting their services. This situation has raised some serious legal issues, ranging from libel to trademark law. Steven James and Adam Salkin, of Pinsent Masons LLP, examine the legal and economic implications of the Twitter 'phenomenon'. / read more

As part of a wider 'telecoms package', the Council of the European Union recently voted in favour of tighter rules for the use of cookies. The measures have been approved with relatively little debate within the legal and IT communities ≠ largely due to the distraction caused by recent high-profile wrangling around the ability of EU Member States to disconnect illegal file-sharers. Martin Fanning, Senior Associate at Denton Wilde Sapte, examines the possible effects the news rules might have. / read more

Doing business in China, especially in the internet gaming industry, is dependant on obtaining a series of governmental licences and permits. Foreign investors are subject to even more severe requirements. Wei Zhang, a Partner at Jun He Law Offices, examines the exact legal requirements for operating online gaming businesses in China. / read more

An amendment to the Finnish Communications Market Act provides that permanent residents of the country are legally entitled to an 'appropriate internet connection', both in terms of quality and accessibility. The Finnish Government also has plans to make broadband connections faster and to finance internet use growth in the country. Arto Linnervuo and Teemu Ruikka, from Castrén & Snellman, discuss how the law will make broadband access a 'universal right' in Finland. / read more

Information obtained through 'netsnooping' ≠ especially on social networking sites ≠ will not necessarily be treated as acceptable evidence in legal proceedings. Indeed, the quality of this type of information may have severe implications for data protection, for example. Richard Wilkins, a Partner at Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP, examines what he calls 'the pitfalls' of netsnooping. / read more

The internet has enabled easier access to published material. However, it has also allowed an inflation in the possibility of legal action, which can be brought every time an article is accessed. Steven James and Farah Barbir, of Pinsent Masons LLP, examine the current state of UK defamation law and address potential remedies. / read more

AdWords: Google v LVMH & co (Advocate General's Opinion)
Privacy: R v Cuttell
Trademark use: Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik v Anheuser-Busch Inc / 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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