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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 13 Issue: 5
(May 2011)


The UK High Court of Justice ruled on 20 April that the Digital Economy Act (DEA) complies with EU legislation. The outcome of the judicial review is a heavy blow for internet service providers (ISPs) TalkTalk and BT, who had sought the review in November 2010. They can now be forced to disconnect individual users if copyright holders believe their rights have been violated. / read more

The US Department of Justice announced on 4 May it was looking into Sony's security practices, in the wake of the news that hackers had stolen the personal details relating to around 100 million user accounts. / read more

China has set up a new agency that is going to monitor and regulate the country's internet traffic. State-controlled news agency Xinhua quoted on 5 May a government statement, saying that the powers of different ministries have been brought together to form the State Internet Information Office (SIIO), which 'will direct, coordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting'. / read more


The recent news that Sony has fallen victim to data hackers is the latest episode in the data breach saga. The electronics giant has now joined the likes of TJX, Heartland, the UK NHS - to name a few - that have 'mismanaged' their customer data. / read more

US / read more

Following a detailed consultation with stakeholders, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its Annual Plan ('the Plan') which presents its strategic purposes, its priorities and its work programme for the 12 months from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012. Rob Bratby and Edwin de Hamel, of Olswang LLP, discuss how Ofcom intends to promote communication and competition in the UK digital sector. / read more

There is fury in Canada over a decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on user-based billing for wholesale sales of internet access services. The public reacted strongly to this specific decision although user-based billing had been previously approved. Martin P.J. Kratz, Q.C., Partner at Bennett Jones LLP, examines the content of the 2011 decision and puts it into context with past decisions which have influenced the Canadian internet access sector. / read more

This is the third and last part of a series of articles looking at the commercial contracts required for a business wanting to establish an online presence. Dr Sam De Silva, Partner at Taylor Walton LLP, considers the key issues in respect of internet access agreements and discusses the potential impact of the Digital Economy Act 2010 on internet service providers. / read more

In the 2011 Budget, the UK Government announced that it is to lower the threshold for low value consignment relief from £18 to £15, below which goods imported from outside the EU will be free of VAT. The lower threshold is to take effect from 1 November 2011. It could have important consequences for the competitiveness of UK-based companies, which had previously lost out to offshore businesses not constrained by UK tax and commercial regulations. Ed Denny, Senior Associate at Norton Rose LLP, considers what the current position is for goods bought over the internet, what effect these changes may have and what changes may follow. / read more

Trademarks used to be straightforward - a mark was used to identify the origin of a good or service. The online world has, however, meant that brand owners have faced challenges to their traditional monopoly. Without consumers actually seeing and touching goods, having a recognised 'brand' is clearly an excellent way of attracting customers online. However, if you do not have a brand, what better way to grow a business then to piggy back on a well-established one? / read more

The existence of several high profile settlements involving the US Federal Trade Commission and various organisations - involved in 'deceptive' advertising techniques online - has shown that online behavioural advertising has become a communication vehicule of choice. However, its development has given rise to several complex issues and legal questions, especially regarding privacy and consumer protection. Ronald R. Urbach, Chairman of Davis & Gilbert LLP and Co-Chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Group, examines how the online behavourial advertising industry should be regulated and how compliance should be established. / read more

Adwords: Interflora v Marks & Spencer
Consumer privacy: In the matter of Google Inc. (FTC settlement)
Search engines: PFA Films S.r.l. v Yahoo! Italia S.r.l / 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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