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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 15 Issue: 2
(February 2013)


The French government released on 18 January a report proposing changes to international tax rules to better account for value creation by digital firms, recommending an online tax based on data collection. / read more

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) proposed on 22 January guidelines for financial institutions interacting on social media, to ensure banks comply with regulations and protect consumers. / read more

The FTC issued a staff report on 1 February providing recommendations for companies to improve mobile privacy disclosures. “The report represents a culmination of efforts initiated by the FTC and other regulators during the past few years,” said Gonzalo Mon, Partner at Kelley Drye. “The FTC’s perspective is that the report is necessary to achieve stronger enforcement of disclosure standards for apps,” adds John Feldman, Partner at Reed Smith. / read more


The balance between adequate protection of consumer data and the need for companies to acquire such data from their customers in order to ensure consumer safety has been examined recently by the California Supreme Court, in Apple Inc. v. Sup. Ct. of Los Angeles County. The case was brought to the Court by plaintiff David Krescent, who took issue when major e-retailer Apple required his phone number and address before accepting his credit card payment for electronic goods online. / read more

News aggregation services provided by internet search engines were once considered promotional tools for digital versions of traditional newspapers; however, more recently publishers have altered their views. Many news publishers now believe that services that collate news stories actually divert traffic away from the source story. Some go further and claim that news aggregators infringe the publishers' copyright. Yet search engine owners argue that such aggregating services are useful for publishers, providing them with much needed traffic. Farah Mukaddam, of Norton Rose, explores the legal background to this debate and the approaches to settling the dispute. / read more

The question of how to obtain a greater amount of tax from big internet companies - such as Google and Amazon - is one that is currently perplexing many governments. In France, the recent Colin & Collin report explores how the tax avoidance practices of internet giants can be reversed, and puts forward the idea of a data tax, which would require online companies to pay for their use of user data. Jérôme Granotier and Guilhem Calzas, of Bignon Lebray Avocats, analyse the report's findings and what such a data tax would involve. / read more

A recent academic study found that many organisations are now using online monitoring techniques to detect illegal file-sharing taking place through services such as BitTorrent. Tom Harding, a Senior Solicitor in Osborne Clarke's Digital Media team, discusses the study, and the extent to which monitoring evidence can potentially be relied upon in copyright infringement proceedings. / read more

A recent amendment to Singapore's Computer Misuse Act is designed to enable a 'nimble and comprehensive response' to the threat of cyber-attacks. But some argue that the new Government powers are too broad and are open to abuse. Olswang Asia's Rob Bratby and Matt Pollins examine the key provisions of the new law and what it might mean for organisations in Singapore and beyond. / read more

The German Data Protection Council initiative. / read more

The debate in the Netherlands over the legality of hyperlinks with regard to whether such links infringe on the copyright of works on the internet has been reignited recently by a pair of court decisions, by the District Court of Amsterdam and the Appeal Court of Amsterdam respectively. Both courts ruled on cases where the hyperlinks were found to be unlawful, yet the legal grounds leading to such a verdict differed. Win Yan Lam, a Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP, examines these two decisions and the differing legal approaches that have emerged in relation to hyperlinks and copyright infringement. / read more

Three key cases from the latest issue of our sister publication, E-Commerce Law Reports: Trkulja v. Yahoo!/Google; Walter v. Paris; and Ofcom and Sky: the must offer remedy. / read more

Lord Justice Leveson's 2,000 page report, published on 28 November 2012, devotes a dozen or so pages to the internet although his recommendations do not specifically address the issues surrounding online material, having commented early on that online material was 'the elephant in the room'. However more recently, Lord Justice Leveson has suggested that while established legal norms were capable of application to the internet it is likely that new laws will need to be developed. Abigail Healey, Managing Associate at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, analyses the extent to which the internet is addressed in the report and how the recommendations if implemented might affect publishers of online material. / read more

Although international treaties have harmonised certain aspects of intellectual property law in many countries, the rights they seek to protect remain creations of national law and must be enforced at a national level. In the context of the internet, this is problematic for those who post literary or artistic material to social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, since no single provision determines whether or not given acts are permissible in each jurisdiction in which the content is accessible. Gareth Dickson, Associate at Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP, assesses the current situation faced by individuals uploading protected works and the patchwork of similar yet subtly different laws they are subject to. / 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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