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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 5
(May 2012)


US Businesses and privacy lawyers are hugely divided over a new bill that would allow technology and manufacturing companies and the US Government to share internet traffic data. / read more

A German court has ruled, on 20 April, that YouTube, the US-based online video-sharing platform, is responsible for removing copyright infringing material from its website and as such is liable for copyright infringements committed by its users. / read more

The implementation of anti-piracy measures set out in the UK's Digital Economy Act (DEA) are to be delayed until at least 2014, a Department of Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) spokesperson has confirmed. / read more


The use of mobile applications has been on the rise ever since mobile apps became popular in 2008. The term 'app' was named 'Word of the Year' by the American Dialect Society in 2010 and at the end of 2011, more than half a million third-party apps were available globally. Nowadays, tens of millions of people around the world use mobile applications on a daily basis. For large, consumer-facing companies it is almost impossible not to offer your customers a decent mobile application these days. The increasing use of mobile apps has made many products and services more appealing, attractive and accessible, and has become part of many self-respecting companies' branding and marketing strategy. / read more

The UK Information Commissioner (ICO), Christopher Graham, has announced that enforcement of the cookie law will be "pragmatic and realistic", when the moratorium on enforcement is lifted on 26 May 2012. / read more

UK / read more

Illegal file sharing, and whether internet service providers (ISPs) should be held responsible for preventing such activities, has been debated extensively in the courts. Now following the failed appeal by BT and Talk Talk against measures in the UK Digital Economy Act, which will require warning letters to be sent to customers believed to be downloading illegal files, it seems that ISPs will have to step up to the mark. Robert Blamires and David Naylor, of Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, look at the latest developments in a series of cases involving the Newzbin Service, and the latest developments to the controversial Digital Economy Act. / read more

The issuance of claims documents via social networking sites is becoming more and more an acceptable alternative service channel during litigation disputes. However a number of exceptional circumstances must occur before a social media channel can be used to aid the administration of justice. Andrew Herring, an Associate in Pinsent Masons LLP's Litigation & International Arbitration practice, discusses the necessary considerations for the court when using alternative service channels and the key cases so far. / read more

The Dutch Supreme Court ruled last January that the theft of virtual goods should be regarded as a criminal offence. This unique decision surprised many within the industry and many believe it has set a precedent for similar cases. Steven James and Sam Kempsey, of Latham and Watkins, examine the potential legal impact of this ruling and explore the channels of litigation that this ruling could open up, both in a criminal and a civil context. / read more

A lack of efficient channels to make complaints means that in the face of expensive legal procedures most consumers and small businesses choose not to seek online dispute resolution. Recent moves by the European Union and the United Nations however, look to create electronic mechanisms and online dispute centres to solve this issue. Aura Esther Vilalta, a Senior Lecturer in Law and Political Science at The Open University of Catalonia, discusses the directives so far and how Spain is paving the way with its recent Royal Decree. / read more

Online piracy is a global problem and as yet is without an adequate solution. Authorities in the US are taking action by looking to pass a piece of legislation that will authorise the shut down of websites that fail to remove copyright infringing material, in the form of the Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA. Both hugely controversial and yet not without support, those in opposition to the Act fear that it is the first steps towards internet censorship, as Vanessa Barnett and Natalie Elsborg of Charles Russell LLP discuss. / read more

UK cookie compliance comes into force on 26 May 2012 following a 12 month lead-in period to allow businesses time to comply with the new rules governing the use of cookies and the requirement to gather informed consent from users. The UK's approach however is somewhat different to the US perspective on cookies and the enforcement action undertaken so far by the Federal Trade Commission to protect internet users. Martin Fanning, Todd D. Daubert and Anna Doherty of SNR Denton, review both the UK and US approaches to cookies and online privacy, and the guidelines in place to help businesses comply. / read more

Data breach: Elavon Inc. v. Cisero's Inc.
Patents: AS Watson BV and others v Boots Company plc and others
Copyright infringement: Megaupload case / 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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