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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 4
(April 2009)


The European Commission (EC) began an infringement proceeding against the UK government on 14 April, due to problems with the UK's implementation of the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (2002/58/EC) and the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC). The problems were discovered during the Commission's inquiry into the UK's action in response to complaints from UK internet users concerning Phorm, a behavioural advertising technology used by internet service providers. The Directives require Member States to ensure, among other things, the 'confidentiality of communications by prohibiting interception and surveillance without users' consent' and that user consent must be 'freely given, specific and informed'. Under the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act it is considered unlawful to intercept communications, unless the interceptor has 'reasonable grounds for believing' that consent to interception has been given. / read more

The French National Assembly will re-debate an internet piracy Bill designed to cut the internet access of people caught illegally downloading files three times on 29 April, after text adopted by the Senate was defeated by 21 votes to 15 in the National Assembly - which contains 577 seats - on 9 April. "It was a coup of filibustering mounted by the socialist group", Roger Karoutchi, Secretary of State of Relations with Parliament, told Le Monde. / read more

The Associated Press (AP) is working with news organisations to create a rights model that would ensure content owners receive a fair return for their news coverage, and will seek legal action against organisations that illegally use news content without reimbursing news organisations. / read more


The European Commission's recent announcement of an infringement proceeding against the UK government for problems it found with UK laws on e-privacy and data protection, indicates that serious steps are being taken by the Commission to deal with privacy concerns online. / read more

YouTube unplugs British music videos
Limitless domain plan postponed to address trade mark issues
Dates for your diary / read more

The European Commission recently released a report identifying barriers to cross-border e-commerce. Marvin Farrell, an Associate at Bird & Bird, examines the barriers to cross-border e-commerce outlined by the report and discusses how the Commission is seeking to address them. / read more

The UK's Competition Commission recently blocked Project Kangaroo, a proposed video on demand joint venture between TV broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide. Duncan Liddell and Belinda Bagge, of Ashurst LLP, examine the concerns of the competition authorities in relation to Project Kangaroo, the possible remedies considered and the implications that the blocking decision could have for e-commerce businesses. / read more

The European Court of Justice has clarified the extent to which the Database Directive protects databases from copying, when the main body of the work involves legislation unprotected by local copyright legislation. Jeremy Morton, a Partner with Fasken Martineau, examines how the judgment provides clarity for the owners of online databases. / read more

A local court in Germany recently referred a case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on whether exercising the right to withdraw from distance sales contracts under the European Directive on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts should exempt consumers from paying compensation for use of the goods. Marc Holtorf and Heike Freund, of Clifford Chance, examine the issue and the possible consequences if consumers are exempted from compensation. / read more

Germany's leading social network sites have agreed a voluntary code of conduct designed to protect children from the dangers that can occur through participation in social networks. Dr. Sascha Vander, an Associate with Taylor Wessing, examines the sanctioning powers against social network sites that sign the code but fail to comply with its provisions, its powers in monitoring and referring non-signatory social networks to German authorities, and how use of such codes can avoid the need for statutory provisions. / read more

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently launched the UK's first ever self-regulatory principles for online behavioural advertising companies, which comprise of a set of core principles such as transparency and education. Nick Stringer, Head of Regulatory Affairs at the IAB, comments on the significance of the principles. / read more

Defamation: John Alexis Mardas v New York Times Company et al.
Contract terms: UFC Que Choisir v Amazon et al.
Cybersquatting Philbrick v eNom 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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