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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 17 Issue: 3
(March 2015)


The White House published a discussion draft of its proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights on 27 February, which aims to establish ‘baseline protections’ for consumer privacy in the US through the creation of enforceable codes of conduct. The proposed legislation would give consumers more control over how their data is used and enable firms to gain ‘Safe Harbor’ from enforcement action through the approval of enforceable codes of conduct that demonstrate compliance with the privacy principles. / read more

On 26 February the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted Open Internet rules, which reclassify broadband internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act and prohibit broadband providers from throttling internet traffic or offering paid prioritisation services.  Amongst its critics, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai argues that the new rules will stifle innovation and lead to higher rates for consumers. / read more

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released on 26 February a call for evidence on the use of information in online reviews and endorsements, stating its awareness of concerns ‘about the trustworthiness or impartiality of information in some reviews and endorsements.’ / read more


In the midst of continued noise from the European Commission on the need to amend the current EU copyright acquis, the European Parliament appointed Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda to serve as Rapporteur on an ‘Own Initiative’ report on the implementation of the Copyright Directive. This was presented to the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on 20 January, and proposes some controversial changes to the copyright regime in the EU, including the possibility of a Single European Copyright Law and the removal of remuneration linked to exceptions. Ted Shapiro, Partner at Wiggin LLP shares his thoughts on the report and whether such drastic amendments are necessary. / read more

On 26 February the US Federal Communications Commission (‘FCC’) adopted new regulations that will reclassify internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, making net neutrality the law in the US. Although the FCC has forgone enforcement of many Title II provisions, the possibility exists for regulation-creep in the future. Francisco Montero and Davina S. Sashkin of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC, provide a detailed account of the run up to and implications of the FCC’s new Open Internet Order. / read more

China’s telecoms industry is highly regulated and service providers are required to obtain permission from the government to operate various services. Internet information services, which are regarded as a type of value-added telecoms service, are also subject to such requirements. According to the Administrative Measures Governing Internet Information Services (2000) issued by the State Council (the ‘Measures’), the provision of internet information services requires either a licence from or registration with the government. Under the Measures, internet information services are divided into services of a commercial nature and services of a non-commercial nature; commercial services providers are subject to licensing requirements while non-commercial services providers are subject to registration requirements. By Sam Yang and Roxie Meng of CMS China, Beijing. / read more

Australia’s government outlined a proposal to introduce blocking injunctions to allow rightsholders to apply for court orders forcing internet service providers (‘ISPs’) to block access to certain websites. At the government’s request, ISPs and rightsholders published on 20 February a draft proposal for a notification scheme. Rebekah Gay and Peter FitzPatrick of Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney, and Joel Smith and Heather Newton of the firm’s London office, consider the proposals and how effective they might be in practice. / read more

Law number 12,965/2014, also known as the Brazilian Legal Framework for the Internet or ‘Marco Civil da Internet’ (the ‘Internet Law’) was sanctioned by the Brazilian President on 23 April 2014 and entered into force on 23 June 2014. The Internet Law is based on the principles of freedom of speech and user privacy and defines a number of rights and obligations for internet users, internet service providers (‘ISPs’) and internet applications. With 32 sections broadly discussed in Congress and via public consultation online, the Internet Law covers subjects such as: (i) net neutrality (section 9); (ii) protection of personal data (sections 10 and 11); and (iii) the safeguarding of information on users’ internet application log access (sections 13 through 15). By Evy Marques, Isabel Andrade and Lays Pedro of Felsberg Advogados. / read more

On 3 February the Article 29 Working Party (‘WP29’) published the results of its Cookie Sweep Day. The goal was inter alia to study how cookies are being used across sectors such as e-commerce and the extent to which websites are complying with the necessary requirements. Sylvie Rousseau, Thibault Soyer and Lauren Cuyvers of Olswang LLP detail the findings of the WP29’s Sweep Day. / read more

Native advertising - promoted content that is more seamlessly integrated into publishers’ offerings online - has generated significant interest as an alternative to standard forms of advertising. The practice triggers regulatory concerns however, such as around the clear disclosure of the nature of the content. Dan Smith, Director and Head of Advertising and Marketing Law at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP discusses the regulatory concerns and how new guidelines from the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (‘IAB’) could help preserve trust in publishing. / read more

On 1 January 2015, the Act 21/2014 of 4 November, came into force. This Act reforms not only the consolidated text of the Intellectual Property Act but also, to a lesser extent, the Civil Procedure Act that regulates the proceedings before the Courts of Civil law. One of the main goals of the reform has been the protection of intellectual property (‘IP’) rights online. The reform has thus established a number of important changes in the provisions of the Act that ensure that subjects harming rightsholders can be penalised. By Beatriz Bejarano of Grau & Angulo Abogados. / 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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