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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 18 Issue: 11
(November 2016)


The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) published on 7 October 2016 its new Code of Practice on ‘Privacy notices, transparency and control’ (the ‘Code’), which aims to increase organisations’ transparency with regard to consumers’ personal information. / read more

The Dutch Senate adopted amendments to the Netherlands’ Telecommunications Act (‘Act’) on 11 October 2016, which inter alia outlaw ‘zero rating,’ the practice in which network operators or ISPs do not charge for data used by certain applications or internet services. The revised law appears contradictory to finalised guidelines issued by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (‘BEREC’) in August 2016, which state that zero rating is possible only under certain circumstances, with national regulators required to assess the practice on a case-by-case basis. / read more


On 30 August 2016, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (‘BEREC’) published the final version of its Guidelines on the implementation of European net neutrality rules by national regulators. Olivier Gergely and Christoph Werkmeister of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer explain that the Guidelines provide some clarity but still leave ample room for interpretation. / read more

On 14 September 2016 the European Commission (‘Commission’) proposed a new Directive towards the modernisation of EU copyright rules. The Impact Assessment accompanying the new draft Directive provides some insight into the reasoning behind the Commission’s proposals. Iain Connor, Partner at Pinsent Masons, looks specifically at what the impact Assessment holds for text and data mining and the available options that might be taken in terms of a possible policy intervention in this area by the Commission. / read more

The question of whether linking to a website containing infringing content constitutes an infringement of copyright under EU law is a key issue for rightsholders, but one which had not been definitively addressed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’). On 8 September 2016, the CJEU handed down its judgment in GS Media BV v. Sanoma Media Netherlands BV and Others (Case C-160/15), ruling that linking to unauthorised content can, in certain circumstances, constitute a communication to the public, thereby requiring authorisation from the relevant rightsholders. Ted Shapiro, Partner at Wiggin LLP, sets out the case background, details the findings, and considers the wider impact. / read more

Both the European Commission (‘EC’) and national competition authorities in Europe (‘NCAs’) have signalled their focus on the e-commerce sector as an area of enforcement priority, in reflection of its ever-growing importance. Some recent enforcement actions by NCAs reiterates broadly settled positions, while others suggest a toughening of the authorities’ stance against online sales restrictions. In particular, recent cases concerning bans on sales through third party platforms look set to re-open the debate over the extent to which such restrictions may be justified as qualitative requirements within a selective distribution system. Christian Fischoeder and John Kwan of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provide an overview of these significant enforcement actions by competition authorities. / read more

The Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) has delivered its verdict in the case of Tobias McFadden v. Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH, finding that those who provide free Wi-Fi internet access within the course of their economic activity can benefit from the ‘mere conduit’ defence to liability, if the provider satisfies a number of conditions. However, the CJEU found that Wi-Fi providers can be required to secure their network. Theo Savvides and Andy Butcher of Bristows LLP discuss the case’s implications for Wi-Fi providers. / read more

Two recent decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) have indicated that online businesses must ensure they are in compliance with the data protection (‘DP’) law of the Member State (‘MS’) where they are processing personal data even if they have no permanent office there. Prof Dr Patrick Van Eecke and Enrique Gallego Capdevila of DLA Piper LLP discuss the implications of these rulings. / 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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