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Digital Business Lawyer
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Volume: 19 Issue: 4
(April 2017)


News

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, presented to Parliament the Great Repeal Bill: White Paper on Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on 30 March 2017, which presents the Government’s proposed approach to achieving a stable and smooth exit from the EU that will involve the conversion of the body of existing EU law into domestic law, and will create powers to make secondary legislation to enable ‘corrections’ to be made to the laws that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately. The UK Parliament will then decide on which elements of the law to keep, amend and repeal once the UK has left the EU, which ‘ensures that, as a general rule, the same rules and laws will apply after we leave the EU as they did before,’ states the White Paper. / read more

The UK High Court granted a blocking injunction on 9 March 2017 (the ‘Order’) requiring six major UK ISPs to block access to streaming servers that enable users to watch Premier League football broadcasts without a licence, as delivered by Kodi set-top boxes, for example; the Order follows an application by the Football Association Premier League (‘FAPL’). / read more


Features

A new Chairman - Ajit Pai - has taken the helm at the US Federal Communications Commission (‘FCC’). Chairman Pai has already made news for his actions in initiating deregulatory measures targeting the internet, including in regards to net neutrality and ISP data security. Francisco R. Montero and Keenan P. Adamchak of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC, assess the FCC's change in direction under Pai's leadership. / read more

At the beginning of March 2017 the UK Government released its Digital Strategy, which addresses how the Government intends to develop the UK’s digital economy as well as looking at some of the UK’s weaknesses in this regard. The Strategy features seven strands, which include cyber security and utilising the power of data. While the Strategy discusses numerous initiatives, it has faced criticism for simply ‘refreshing’ some earlier proposals and for failing to provide enough detail, as Louise Eldridge, Partner at Bristows LLP, explains. / read more

The EU’s Directive on Network and Information Security (the ‘NIS Directive’) must be implemented into Member States’ local laws by 9 May 2018. It is the first true inter-governmental initiative to address cyber security and one of its central tenets is for digital service providers ('DSPs') who provide online marketplaces, online search engines or cloud computing services to notify authorities of any incident having a substantial impact on their services. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (‘ENISA’) has recently issued guidelines to help DSPs manage incident notification (the ‘Guidelines’). James Walsh and Sabba Mahmood of Fieldfisher LLP examine the Guidelines in the context of the NIS Directive for DSPs. / read more

Smart contracts - computer protocols allowing the automated processing of legal terms - have the potential to significantly alter the commercial, legal and regulatory landscape. The advent of the blockchain has been hailed as providing the tamper-proof environment necessary for smart contracts to really take off, allowing for the use of smart contracts to facilitate complex commercial arrangements involving multiple parties. However, there are of course challenges involved. Bernadette Jew and Peter Reeves of Gilbert + Tobin, and George Samman of Sammantics consultancy, analyse the opportunities smart contracts could bring, the challenges that need to be addressed, and how smart contracts could enable corporate digitisation. / read more

Restrictions on internet distribution and competition law compliance generally do not mix. However, in a recent speech, Johannes Laitenberger, a high-ranking official within the Competition Directorate of the European Commission, stated that “while blanket internet sales bans are undoubtedly a hardcore restriction […] this does not apply to all restraints on online sales.” He was referring to a case, Coty, which is currently before the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) for a preliminary ruling on whether online sales restrictions linked to selective distribution systems are legitimate from a competition law perspective. Mark Tricker and Amanda Town of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP explore why this case will bring some much-needed clarity to an area where different competition authorities have taken different views and what this might mean for brand owners seeking to exercise control over how and where their products are sold online. / read more

One of the most newsworthy issues of 2016 was news itself - or rather ‘fake news’ and its impact on certain events. Accurate news is vital to democracy and the explosive growth of fake news is cited by many as a threat. In the first part of a two-part series, Sheldon Burshtein, Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, considers what ‘fake news’ really is, and looks at it from the viewpoint of Canadian law. / 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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