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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 16 Issue: 12
(December 2014)


US President Barack Obama issued a video statement on 10 November urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to keep the internet open and free, by calling for internet service providers (ISPs) to be regulated as public utilities, which would see ISPs classified as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act 1996. / read more

The European Parliament passed on 27 November a motion calling on the European Commission (EC) to consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as a potential long-term solution to antitrust concerns, which many commentators have taken as referring to a ‘break-up’ of Google. / read more

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled, on 17 November, with privacy certifiers True Ultimate Standards Everywhere Inc. (TRUSTe) for $200,000, after alleging that TRUSTe had deceptively represented that it recertified all participating businesses when, in over 1,000 cases between 2006-2013, it had not, and that it had deceptively represented that it was a non-profit organisation. / read more


The High Court recently granted Richemont a blocking order requiring the five largest ISPs in the UK to prevent access to various third party websites advertising and selling goods which infringe Richemont’s trade mark rights, marking the first time such a blocking order has been sought against ISPs on the basis of trade mark infringement in the EU (other than, perhaps, in the Danish case of Home v. Telenor). David Cran and Ben Mark of RPC analyse the case. / read more

The US Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’) filed a complaint in October against AT&T, alleging that the telecommunications company deceived its subscribers by failing to adequately disclose the limits involved in what AT&T described as its ‘unlimited’ data plan. Pantelis Michalopoulos and Andrew W. Guhr of Steptoe & Johnson LLP argue that while, for some, this action against AT&T shows that the FTC alone can keep internet service providers in check without the use of industry-wide rules (such as those proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (‘FCC’) in its Open Internet proceeding), the FTC’s efforts actually highlight both the agency’s strengths and its limitations when it comes to preserving an open internet. / read more

Section 8 of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (‘CASL’) deals with the installation of computer programs in the course of commercial activity. These provisions come into force on 1 January 2015. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (‘CRTC’) has issued guidance on its interpretation of section 8; in light of this, David Elder of Stikeman Elliott explains the legislative requirements. / read more

E-commerce has blossomed into a new digital economy, but still provokes difficult questions in regards to the most efficient ways to impose taxes. Given that national treasuries seem to profit very little from the digital economy, efficient taxation has become a global issue that has prompted Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (‘OECD’) investigation. Numerous governments have also proposed solutions to the question. Michaela Merz and Daniel Barcellos of PricewaterhouseCoopers AG discuss the challenges and proposed solutions to taxing the internet. / read more

In October a public consultation was launched in Italy on the draft Declaration of Internet Rights (hereinafter, the ‘Draft Declaration’), proposed by the Europen Commission (‘EC’) for Internet Rights and Duties at the Chamber of Deputies. The Draft Declaration is not a draft law and only aims at establishing some general principles to be implemented by national legislation. It is inspired by the need to be consistent with the universal and supranational scope of the web and has drawn inspiration from similar initiatives taken in other countries. Basically it ‘intends to provide guidance on possible regulatory developments at all levels, from national legislation to international treaties.’ By Daniela De Pasquale of Studio Legale D&P, Milan. / read more

Turkey’s new Law No. 6563 on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce, set to come into force on 1 May 2015, provides a legal framework for e-commerce in Turkey. The new law is a significant step towards fulfilling the potential of Turkey’s e-commerce market, which has been stifled by consumer mistrust and a lack of infrastructure. Begum Yavuzdogan Okumus and Alp Turan of Gun + Partners provide an overview of the new law. / read more

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (‘OECD’) issued in October guidance designed to protect consumers of digital content products, focusing on areas such as terms and conditions and advertising to children. David Bentham and Deirdre McCarthy of Brabners LLP discuss the guidance. / 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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