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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 5
(May 2009)


The French Senate has passed legislation designed to disconnect file sharers from their internet service provider if they are caught file sharing three times, despite an amendment to the Telecoms Reform Package made by Members of the European Parliament designed to prevent such laws. / read more

Two European Commissioners proposed extending the principles of consumer protection rules to cover licensing agreements of products like software downloaded for virus protection, games or other licensed content in a joint Digital Agenda on 5 May, after finding gaps in EU rules relating to consumer confidence. / read more

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is to submit a report on the types of content on virtual reality sites, including inappropriate content that can be easily accessed by minors and whether steps should be taken to prevent them from accessing it, before December. / read more


France has taken a bold approach to policing against file sharing by focusing on punitive sanctions. However, by instructing ISPs to police internet connections and sever a filesharer's connection to the internet after two warnings without a chance to appeal, French legislators have set a hard task. Committed file sharers can hide their ISP address, or even piggyback on somebody else's wireless connection. Managing investigations and appeals will be expensive and problematic. / read more

Government to ask communication providers to store usage data
Parliamentary Committee holds inquiry into ISP regulation
EU wants ICANN privatised; ICANN seeks to appease trademark owners
Dates for your diary / read more

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently held that the absence of an effective end date for libel actions involving electronic publication of articles is not a disproportionate interference with Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (freedom of expression). Brid Jordan, a Solicitor at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP, discusses the background to the case and examines the implications of the ECtHR's decision. / read more

A US federal court has ruled that the sale of trademarks as keyword advertising constitutes 'use in commerce' within the meaning of the Lanham Act. Susan L. Ross, a Senior Counsel with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, examines how the ruling amends the simplistic analysis that keywords used in advertising cannot form the basis of trademark claims in the US. / read more

Open source describes software developed by a community of people, who give it away for free under terms providing that should they develop the software further, they are willing to share the results. Dave Birch, a Director at Consult Hyperion, examines business models for the use of open source, the role that it can play in the e-payments industry and potential methods of policing against its use by criminals. / read more

The Home Office recently announced a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and published a consultation paper inviting views on the powers granted to public authorities as regards direct surveillance, covert human intelligence and communications data. Vanessa Barnett and Amy Russell, of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, outline the purpose of RIPA and the reasons for the review, which include concerns that some public authorities are using RIPA powers for much wider purposes than originally envisioned. / read more

The use of computer programmes to play online poker is not illegal, but does violate the terms and conditions of some online gambling operators. Professor Mark Griffiths, of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, examines whether using automated programmes in a skill environment is a form of cheating and needs regulatory intervention. / read more

Turkey has introduced its Electronic Communications Law, which amends a 1924 law to regulate communications in the electronic age. Mehtap Yildirim Öztürk, Çagdas Evrim Ergün and S. Mustafa Durakoglu, of Çakmak Avukatlik Bürosu, Ankara, examine the main features of the law, its sanctions and assess its effectiveness. / read more

Software licensing: DataDirect Technologies Ltd v Marks and Spencer plc.
Arbitration agreements: Kerr v Dillard Store Services, Inc.
Defamation: Carrie v Tolkein / 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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