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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 2 Issue: 1
(January 2000)


A discussion forum for Internet issues was launched at the January plenary session of the European Parliament, on 19 January in Strasbourg, France. / read more

Dot com companies outside the United States could face loss of their domain name if they do not register it as a trade mark in the US . / read more

Data Protection talks aimed at resolving differences between Europe and the United States on regulating the use of consumer and employee data are in danger of stalling if not resolved by Easter. / read more


The one thing that is certain about e-commerce and internet law is that nothing is certain. That is not a happy situation for those who are trying to work out how to do business online nor indeed for those who are trying to advise them. / read more

The UK Competition Regulator, the Office of Fair Trading is investigating a complaint by a North London furniture retailer that a supplier refused to supply the company when they realised the discounts which the company was offering on its website. / read more

All UK cases and statutes could be available online if a pilot project posed for later this year succeeds. A steering group, formed in November 1999 has raised £100,000 of funding to develop a programme which hopes to emulate the success of the Australian system, where all cases and statutes are put online immediately by an independent body, the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). / read more

Domain name registrations in the UK are continuing at record levels with 12,653 registrations in December 1999 with Nominet UK, the .uk registrar. / read more

In recent months, many offshore islands competing for e-commerce business have unveiled their plans for legislation addressing the technological and global challenges of the new trading media. Jersey is no exception. Its government, the States of Jersey, announced its intentions to give the highest priority to the enactment of legislation to accelerate the development of e-commerce last spring. It also established the Jersey Information Society Commission to develop a strategy for the promotion of e-commerce. / read more

The explosion of the internet industry has caused a proliferation in the number of organisations that call themselves incubators. Consequently ‘incubator’ has become a catch-all to describe a number of different entities, each offering some form of support to start-up companies, usually in exchange for equity. This article examines the advantages and disavantages of different types of incubator, alongside the legal issues that need to be resolved in the incubation period. / read more

With the expansion of the Internet and e-commerce has come the proliferation of proposed legislation to introduce legal changes to accommodate this economic and social phenomena. At the European level, there are a number of proposed or yet to be implemented directives - the Distance Selling Directive, the Electronic Commerce Directive, the Distance Selling of Financial Services Directive and the Electronic Signatures Directive. In the UK the Government, as part of its stated desire to make the UK the best place for electronic trade, has introduced the Electronic Communications Bill which should receive Royal Assent early this year. Many other countries are introducing or discussing similar legislation. In the midst of this legislative upheaval the requirements of the European retail banking community are clear: the need for certainty as soon as practicable in relation to the creation of on-line banking contracts and a consistent approach to on-line retail banking transactions across the European Union. / read more

Shell Services International, as a global organisation, has had to grapple with the issue of data protection both on and off line. Their concern to develop a consistent and practical solution to the challenge of satisfying the demands of regulators, customers, employees and shareholders has led them to be a lead participant in developing the ICX Code of Conduct for Data Protection and Privacy. This article examines the issues and points to their solution. / read more

In a surprise move the Council of Ministers reached a political agreement on the draft e-commerce directive on the 16 December 1999. The member states were able to settle wide ranging differences regarding the relationship between the directive and private international law and the provisions in relation to liability of internet service providers. The directive maintains a very wide definition of what constitutes an information society service, this follows the definition set out in the so called transparency directive (Council directive 98/34/EC of 22 June 1998 as amended by Council directive 98/48/EC of 20 July 1998). / read more

E-Commerce Law & Policy, the e-commerce newsletter for lawyers launched in February last year, gives you:

• The latest regulatory and legislative developments.

• Interpretation and analysis of the latest Judgments.

• Incisive analysis of the legal problems -and their solutions - in conducting e-commerce, by top legal experts from private practice and in-house counsel. / read more

Network Solutions, the world’s largest registrar of domain names, launched on Janaury 3 a new Web site at to help its customers and the Internet community make the transition to a new, global domain name dispute policy. The new site aims to provide an easily accessible, understandable roadmap to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). / read more

California based eBay the leading company in the fast growing online auction market is taking action against Massachusetts company Bidders Edge. eBay claim that Bidders Edge indexing of and links to information on the eBay website infringes on eBay’s copyrights and is trespassory and unfair use of the eBay site (eBay Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, D. Calif., No. 0-99 21200, filed 12/10/99). / read more

A ruling by U.S. District Court in Seattle on 18 January, allowed Streambox, (, a start-up with leading streaming technologies for audio and video files on the Internet, to continue selling its most popular software product, Streambox Ripper. / read more

Cryptography Regulation is proving difficult on both sides of the Atlantic. / read more

Pressure for the UK Government to radically redraw the draft Financial Services and Markets Bill, for regulating on-line financial services, is growing in the City. At an 18 January meeting in London representatives from several City institutions discussed the need to maintain the principle of country of origin jurisdiction. / 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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