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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 2
(February 2009)


The music industry - led by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) - is claiming €2.1 million in damages from four individuals it alleges are behind The Pirate Bay (TPB) - which describes itself as a 'bittorrent tracker' - based on a sample of 23 music tracks selected by prosecutor Håkan Roswall. "But the real loss is greater than that", said Peter Danowsky, an Advokat with Danowsky & Partners who is representing the music companies, in an 18 February IFPI release. Danowsky said TPB had created an "unassailable competitor", which reduced possibilities for online music sales. "Pirate Bay was aiding and abetting the extensive infringement of copyright", said Danowsky. / read more

A failure to resolve issues around trademark protection; security and stability; malicious conduct; demand and economic analysis has delayed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) release of unlimited new generic top level domains (gTLDs) until December. / read more

The 27 EU Telecoms Ministers agreed to compromise in reaching an agreement with the European Commission and Parliament on the Telecoms Package - which is designed to increase competitiveness within the telecoms industry resulting in cheaper prices for consumers - at a 17 February meeting. / read more


It will be interesting to see how the Stockholm District Court interprets the defendants' arguments in The Pirate Bay trial that the site is a 'mere conduit' as defined in the E-Commerce Directive, and therefore cannot be held liable for copyright infringement. The Pirate Bay has always argued that it merely lists where bittorrent files are available in the same manner as a search engine, and therefore cannot be held liable for copyright infringement committed by people using its site for directions to those files. / read more

Government's vision of a 'Digital Britain' published
Privacy groups unhappy with FTC guidelines
EU requests further information on Phorm
Dates for your diary / read more

Rights holders have found it increasingly difficult to protect their products on the internet due to issues with policing peer-to-peer file sharing. Scott Fairbairn, an Associate with CMS Cameron McKenna, examines the difficulty in striking a balance between catching genuine file sharers and harassing innocent parties, and the success of various solutions that have been proposed to tackle the problem. / read more

The German Federal Supreme Court has recently heard three cases regarding whether the use of trademarks held by other companies as keywords or metatags for Google's AdWords advertising system infringes German copyright law. Marc L. Holtorf and Dr. Heike Freund, of Clifford Chance, examine the Court's findings, which indicate that a descriptive sign can be used as a keyword, even if that sign is part of a registered trademark. / read more

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will allow any name or word to be registered as a generic top level domain name (gTLD) - i.e. '.law'. Rupert Casey and Sarah Mumford, of Macfarlanes LLP, examine the implications that unlimited gTLDs could create for brands and their owners. / read more

Turkey's Ministry of Finance is preparing measures to tax online games, after a challenge to a government ban on an online game being played in public places was defeated in an Administrative Court. Ceylin Beyli and Basak Gürbüz, of Mehmet Gün & Partners explain why the government is keen to tax such games, difficulties with implementing such a tax due to the global nature of the online gaming industry, and possible global solutions to the issue. / read more

Lord Carter's Digital Britain interim report was published on 29 January, which set out the Government's objectives for digital content by 2012. Vanessa Barnett, Internet and Digital Media Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, examines how the Government intends to protect online content and assesses the viability of the options open to it. / read more

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has issued a policy directive and guidance that requires contractors conducting business with the federal government to ensure that online job application systems can be accessed by people with disabilities. Lisa Sandoval and Petra Vorwig, Attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, examine the guidance. / read more

Internet auctions: 'Mazur v eBay Inc'
Trademarks: 'Intel Corpn Inc v CPM United Kingdom Ltd'
Selective distribution: 'Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique' / 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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