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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 17 Issue: 1
(January 2015)


Google shut down its Spanish Google News service on 16 December, in a move that anticipated the coming into force, on 1 January 2015, of reforms to Spain’s Copyright Act, which makes it compulsory for news aggregation sites such as Google News to pay a fee to the Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies (AEDE) if the aggregator uses a headline or a snippet from a publisher’s news story. / read more

The UK House of Lords proposed amendments to the draft Consumer Rights Bill on 9 December, which would inter alia permit digital content suppliers to insert contractual terms to limit or exclude their liability for damage caused by content so long as such terms are ‘fair.’ / read more

The UK government has raised objections to a number of provisions put forward in the EU Council of Ministers latest proposal document for a General Data Protection Regulation leaked in December, which includes an objection to the requirement that businesses relying on consent for processing personal data must ensure that that consent has been ‘unambiguously’ given ‘for one or more specific purposes.’ / read more


Five years of litigation in the case of Interflora v. Marks and Spencer, a case which has had considerable influence on the development of the legal landscape in relation to how AdWords interact with trade mark protection, was seemingly brought to an end in May 2013 following a judgment by Mr Justice Arnold in the UK High Court. However, in an unexpected move, the Court of Appeal decided in November 2014 that the action must be remitted to the High Court to be reheard. Rachel Cook and Simon Bennett of Fox Williams LLP analyse the background to this move, and the task now facing the Judge in the retrial. / read more

The Article 29 Working party (‘WP29’) issued a set of Guidelines on 26 November 2014, which bring together the opinions of the various EU data protection authorities (‘DPAs’) on the interpretation of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (‘CJEU’) ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling of May 2014. In its decision, the CJEU specifically recognised individuals’ right to request under certain conditions the removal, from a search engine’s results, of links to web pages infringing EU data protection laws. The WP29’s Guidelines contain 13 criteria to be used by DPAs when addressing complaints lodged by individuals following de-listing refusals by search engine operators. Carol A.F. Umhoefer and Caroline Chancé of DLA Piper assess the usefulness and scope of the Guidelines and their role in helping DPAs and search engines navigate the aftermath of the CJEU’s decision. / read more

South Korea began implementing the first parts of its policy roadmap for creating a secure environment for the Internet of Things (‘IoT’) in December 2014. The roadmap is a reaction to one of the major criticisms of the IoT, which is that, while the IoT represents potential benefits across a wide range of areas, it is being developed at a rapid pace without proper consideration of the security challenges involved. Dong Shik Choi, Ju-Bong Jang and Eugene Kim of Kim & Chang discuss what the policy roadmap involves and its potential impact. / read more

The recent announcement from Germany’s largest news publisher Axel Springer that it is discontinuing its efforts to stop Google from running snippets of its newspaper articles, citing significant falls in site traffic, has thrown a spotlight once more on the dispute over search engine snippets in Germany. The battle began in 2013 with the introduction of a new ancillary right for publishers by the German legislator, granting the producer of a press product the exclusive right to make the press product or parts thereof available to the public for commercial purposes, unless this pertains to individual words or ‘the smallest of text excerpts.’ Dr. Andreas Leupold of Leupold Legal discusses the background to this dispute and what the future may now hold. / read more

The recent settlement between the privacy certifiers TRUSTe Inc. and the US Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’), after the FTC alleged that TRUSTe was engaging in deceptive trade practices with respect to its privacy and security promises to consumers, has cast doubt in the minds of some about the value of privacy seals. Joan Antokol, Managing Partner of Park Legal LLC analyses the impact of the FTC’s enforcement action against TRUSTe in relation to the use of privacy seals, and whether organisations will now be more skeptical about paying to display such seals on their websites going forward. / read more

On 11 October 2014, Belgium’s new centre-right government was sworn in. This new government is built around a coalition agreement setting the main priorities for the next four years. Amongst those priorities are a number of initiatives related to the digital world and intellectual property. Although in these areas Member States’ margin of discretion is often more limited than in other areas due to the high degree of EU harmonisation, the coalition has identified a few policies that it is committed to pursuing in the next four years. By Hakim Haouideg and Matthias Machtelinckx of Fieldfisher. / read more

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (‘METI’) amended its Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (the ‘Guidelines’) on 8 August. These changes have implications for in-app purchases, the downloading of digital content, and other e-commerce issues, and e-commerce operators may well wish to consult the revised Guidelines and review their policies in reaction to the changes, as Ayako Suga of Baker & McKenzie explains. / 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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