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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 3
(March 2012)


The UK Digital Economy Act (DEA) is not incompatible with European Union (EU) legislation, the UK Court of Appeal ruled on 6 March. British internet service providers (ISPs) BT and Talk Talk lost an appeal about those parts of the DEA that force ISPs to combat copyright infringements. Both ISPs had argued parts of the law are in conflict with EU laws, especially in relation to privacy and data protection issues. / read more

Google has rolled out revisions to its privacy policy, on 7 March, despite urgent requests from the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, a European Union (EU) body, to delay the changes until a full analysis of its consequences could be carried out. / read more

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online (AOL) have agreed to sign up to a proposed privacy law in the United States, the 'Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights'. The Obama Administration announced the companies willingness to join, with the intention of increasing online privacy protection in the US, at the Bill's release on Thursday 23 February. / read more


Lady Gaga has become the first Twitter user ever to have more than 20 million followers. On 6 March, the unconventional US singer reached the social media milestone when the 20th million follower joined her online community at @LadyGaga. / read more

UK / read more

Employers and employees are increasingly recognising the benefits of using social media both at home and in the workplace to promote their business. Sharon Tan and Paul McGrath, of McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, explain how UK employers can adequately discipline employees for misuse of social media and examine potential issues that could arise when an employee moves on. / read more

Recent action by the US Department of Justice has seen another large file-sharing website - used to facilitate the infringement of copyright - closed down. In the wake of a number of high profile court cases, the shift in approach from simply shutting down offending websites to inhibiting the flow of users through internet service providers has been a significant milestone. Vanessa Barnett and Natalie Elsborg, of Charles Russell LLP, discuss the notable court cases, a number of recent developments and analyse the determination by the courts to impede copyright infringement. / read more

The European Commission published in January its proposals for a comprehensive reform of the EU's data protection laws, designed to strengthen online privacy and harmonise data protection rules within the EU. Mark Owen and Richard Foster, of Harbottle & Lewis, explain why the new proposals place a much higher burden on data controllers than the old regime. They also examine the proposals' impact on e-commerce businesses, such as to extend the applicability of the data protection principles further outside the EU than under the current regime, significant for US-based services. / read more

In September 2011, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched a call for evidence regarding the private motor insurance market. The OFT's focus was on gathering data on whether the widely reported increases in the costs of insurance were accurate - if so the reasons for these - and whether any competition or consumer aspects needed to be addressed as a result. / read more

Hotly debated in India at the moment are issues concerning internet censorship, the liability of internet and web service providers, and the freedom of speech and expression. Following a number of high profile court cases involving internet service providers, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook, who were told to remove objectional content from their Indian websites, fears have spread as to whether internet censorship will follow. Sajai Singh, a Partner at J. Sagar Associates, discusses the current rules and regulations governing online content, just how far intermediaries are liable for content posted by third parties and what exactly is meant by 'objectional content'. / read more

The Digital Economy Act, that forces internet service providers to help combat illegal file-sharing is lawful, the Court of Appeals ruled on 6 March. The Court has rejected claims made by BT and TalkTalk that parts of the Digital Economy Act violate EU laws. The ruling has been welcomed by the Government and representatives of the creative industries, but may yet be appealed by the two internet service providers (ISPs) to the UK Supreme Court. Michiel Willems spoke to Joanna Alderson, an Associate at Pinsent Masons in Birmingham, to examine the latest ruling. / read more

Trademark infringement: Ate My Heart Inc. v Mind Candy Ltd & Moshi Music Ltd
Selective distribution: Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS v Président de L'Autorité de la concurrence
Cybersquatting: Petroliam Nasional Berhad v., 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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