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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 13 Issue: 8
(August 2011)


News

In a landmark ruling handed down on 28 July, High Court Judge Arnold J held that UK internet service provider (ISP) BT had to block access to the illegal file sharing site Newzbin2. Although the practical implications of this decision are not known as of yet - notably in terms of how BT is expected to carry out, in practice, the 'blocking' of the site - there is much speculation as to how far the fight against online piracy will go. / read more

Fox is to become the first broadcast network in the US to put its content behind a paywall. News Corp-owned Fox Networks and Fox Broadcasting announced on 27 July that from midAugust new episodes of Fox shows - like the hugely popular 'Glee' and 'Family Guy' - can no longer be watched for free on the broadcaster's website. / read more

The EU Commission (EC) has written to 20 EU Member States demanding to know why they have not implemented the EU Telecoms Package of reforms ('TP'). / read more


Features

The UK Court of Appeals (CoA) ruled on 26 July that users of news clippings' services must obtain a licence from newspaper publishers if they wish to click legally on links that take them to the newspaper websites in question. If not, they might be infringing the publisher's copyright. Most publishers have no objection if an article is copied and looked at for non-commercial purposes, but when it comes down to 'clippings' services, it is entirely a different issue. / read more

US
UK
UK / read more

EU consultations on cloud computing may be a good thing but no matter what we hope for, and what the EU aspires to, change is still a long way off. News of the consultation in relation to the 'European Cloud Strategy' in mid-May this year1 sparked a flurry of excitement. Vivane Reding, spoke of a 'uniform approach towards cloud computing' and real need for a 'level playing field'2. Yet, in the same month, the EU deadline for implementing the 'cookie' Directive3 loomed with all the associated uncertainty and local variations, delivering a blow to uniformity and progress in the e-commerce space. Mark Webber, Partner at Osborne Clarke, discusses how the EU has to address the needs of end users and protect citizen rights, and what issues this consultation should be considering in relation to e-commerce. / read more

There were high hopes that the Hargreaves Review of UK intellectual property law would lead to a much needed 'overhaul' of UK laws which many commentators had deemed outdated. However, despite some encouraging recommendations, many of the suggested reforms were already present in the 2006 Gowers Review. Simon Mounteney, Partner at Marks & Clerk LLP, examines the conclusions taken from the Hargreaves Review and discusses how they could impact on UK intellectual property law. / read more

The debate surrounding the legitimacy of media paywalls has reached new heights in the past few years, as more models integrate a fee-paying element to access online content. Online papers have tried and sometimes failed to retain and attract readers, as there is still a strong belief that information should be free. David Brauchli, PR Manager at Piano Media, the Slovakian company behind the recent Piano paywall, examines how the relationship between media and advertising has evolved, and how paywalls have impacted the availability and attractiveness of online content. / read more

The smartphone market has grown exponentially in size and sophistication over the last few years. The first App store and the second-generation iPhone were only launched by Apple in 2008, followed soon after by the launch of various competing products but a recent survey found that more than a quarter of consumers in the UK now own a smartphone1. There are predictions that in 2011, 50% of computing devices sold globally will not be PCs2. Louise Taylor and Emma Sheldon, of Taylor Wessing LLP, address the challenges facing smartphone technology. / read more

UK Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, was quoted as saying: "I have said all along that the new EU rules on cookies are challenging. It would obviously ruin some users' browsing experience if they needed to negotiate endless pop-ups - and I am not saying that businesses have to go down that road. Equally, I have to remember that this law has been brought in to give consumers more choice about what companies know about them. That's why I'm taking a common sense approach that takes both views into account." This 'common sense approach' means that UK businesses have one year to adapt the online technology they use to manage user consent to EU and UK legal requirements, although the scope of these requirements remains somewhat unclear, as Kim Walker, Partner at Thomas Eggar LLP, discusses in detail. / read more

Social media: Piccolo v Paterson et al. and Zimmerman v Weis Market
IP rights: Scarlet Extended v Sabam
Community trade marks: DHL Express France SAS v Chronopost SA / 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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