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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 17 Issue: 8
(August 2015)


The Mercantil Court of Barcelona announced on 20 July that it will refer questions in a dispute, brought by a taxi association against taxi app company Uber in Spain, to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’), to determine whether Uber is a transportation provider - and therefore requires an administrative licence in Spain - or an information society service, with no need for a licence. / read more

HM Revenue & Customs (‘HMRC’) launched on 22 July a consultation - to run until 14 October 2015 - on the UK Government’s plans to extend HMRC’s data-gathering powers to permit it to request transaction and user data from online intermediaries and payment providers, to better tackle the ‘hidden economy’ of businesses who avoid paying tax. / read more

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Federal Law No. 264-FZ enacting a so-called ‘Right to be Forgotten’ on 13 July, which will allow individuals in Russia to request the removal of hyperlinks, to information that contradicts Russian legislation, or information that is deemed incorrect or outdated, from search engines. / read more


In October 2014 the UK Government introduced into law a private copying exception allowing individuals to create for their private use personal copies of materials protected by copyright, without obtaining permission from the rightsholder. The new exception was the subject of judicial review proceedings brought by the UK Music Industry, and, on 17 July, the High Court found that the exception must be quashed as a result of being unlawfully brought about. Gregor Pryor and Charlotte Barnett of Reed Smith analyse the decision and the possible next steps for the UK Government. / read more

Now that Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) has entered the trilogue discussion stage, with the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament in the midst of negotiations towards a finished version, it is possible that the legislation will be passed next year. In light of this, Philip James and Stefano Debolini of Sheridans describe the main points of the GDPR as it stands in the context of e-commerce and discuss how companies can start preparing for the changes ahead. / read more

Major European airline Lufthansa Group has announced that from September 2015, a surcharge will be added to the cost of tickets for its airline flights when those tickets are purchased through a Global Distribution System - a network operated by a company that enables automated transactions between third parties and booking agents in order to provide travel-related services to end consumers. Lufthansa’s Group’s strategy has been criticised, with the Business Travel Coalition for instance asking the German competition authority to investigate a possible abuse of a dominant market position by Lufthansa Group. Annabelle Lepiece and Anne-Gaelle Rebours of CMS DeBacker discuss Lufthansa Group’s strategy and whether it could be considered a justified commercial practice, or an abuse of a dominant position. / read more

What follows is a very personal reflection on the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy unveiled by the European Commission in May from Prof Mischa Dohler, Chair Professor and Head of the Centre for Telecom Research at King’s College London, co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the smart city pioneer Worldsensing, Fellow and Lecturer of the IEEE, and Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies and the Transactions on the Internet of Things publications. Mischa, having lived in different countries in Europe and having being embedded in the discussions around Europe’s digital policies, provides a unique view on some of the more operational issues surrounding Europe’s DSM Strategy. / read more

The German Monopolies Commission (‘GMC’) produced a special report in June, which examines the challenges presented by digital markets. The report is of particular significance for the conclusions it draws in relation to online advertising. Stephan Manuel Nagel and Didem Dogan of Taylor Wessing analyse the GMC’s findings, and suggest where the GMC could have gone further. / read more

The Dutch government recently adopted legislation to introduce a new notification requirement for breaches involving personal data. This is of note given its broad reach - applying to data controllers in general - and the compliance risks involved, as Michael Reker, Tineke van de Bunt and Quinten Kroes of Brinkhof explain. / 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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