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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 2 Issue: 5
(May 2000)


In the last three months 600,000 .uk domain names have been registered with Nominet, the uk domain name registrar, taking the total number registered to more than 1.5 million. / read more

US website business, has won $4 million in damages against a Canadian internet company for unfair competition. / read more

A recent House of Lords ruling has highlighted the potential dangers facing Internet Service Providers and publishers through net libel. / read more


Establishing a secure framework for e-commerce is a work in progress. Just how much work still needs to be done has been demonstrated in the last month. / read more

The US Music Industry has notched up two successes in its continuing battle to control online copyright but the industry faces further challenges both legal and technological. On 28 April U.S. Federal District Court Judge Rakoff granted The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which represents the major record labels, a motion of partial summary judgement against’s My.MP3 services for copyright infringement. / read more

Earlier this month a US Congress Study Group which is part of the European-American Business Council invited representatives of the European Commission to provide an update on the progress of the “Safe Harbor” privacy proposal. The response was that the European Commission felt confident that the Safe Harbor Principles will receive the approval of the Member States. The EU Article 31 Committee, which has the power to reject the Safe Harbor agreement will meet to discuss it at the end of May. / read more

Scottish law firm Harper Macleod has launched dotcomstartup for start-up e-commerce businesses. / read more

One of the key characteristics of e-commerce is that it can easily cross national boundaries, and is therefore susceptible to international double taxation. This can arise when two or more countries impose comparable taxes upon the same taxpayer in respect of the same subject matter. In order to alleviate double taxation, countries enter into double taxation treaties which set out the circumstances in which one country or the other has taxing rights in respect of particular transactions. / read more

The Finance Bill has now been published encapsulating the changes to Taper Relief announced in Gordon Brown’s Budget on 21 March. Taper Relief is a system which reduces the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) payable on a sale of shares depending on the length of time those shares have been owned. / read more

Last week the European Parliament gave its approval to the e-commerce directive, the Directive’s second and last major political hurdle in the EU legislative process. EU Member States will have 18 months to transpose it into national law. The Directive had been stewarded through Parliament by Ana Palacio, Chair of the EP Legal Affairs Committee. Members of the European Parliament welcomed the fact that all amendments proposed by the EP under its first reading had been incorporated into the new text. According to the EP draftsperson, the adoption this week of the Directive should facilitate the agreements on other EU policies involving e-commerce such as copyright rules, distance selling of financial services and revision of the Brussels Convention. EU Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein made clear this week that he would ‘pay particular attention to ensure that Member States implement the Directive in national legislation correctly and on time.’ / read more

The collection, analysis and dissemination of personal data is vital for many e-businesses and service providers. Subscriber and customer profiles and click trails determine business strategies, operations, revenues and valuations. But subscribers and customers are increasingly conscious of their privacy.

It is not surprising that data protection has moved up the agenda for many e-businesses, including those based or considering locating offshore. They are affected by the strengthening of international data transfer controls. / read more

The most hotly contested topic on Internet Domain Name Policy email lists is the manner in which new generic top level domains should be introduced. Over the next two months ICANN will be preparing draft policies, implementation documents, commentary and statements of issues relating to this topic which will be posted on its site at

The ICANN Board will consider adopting a formal policy at its meeting in July 2000 in Japan. In the meantime, lobbying will be intense. / read more

Halifax, the former UK building society, recently announced that it has applied to patent some of the products of its internet subsidiary, Intelligent Finance. It claims that the products will be ‘as exciting as the credit card’ but has not released details of patents applications, which would apparently protect the design of bank accounts and software. / read more

A private Internet user has filed a federal law suit in Los Angeles against Yahoo!, the Internet portal based in Santa Clara, California, charging violation of his constitutional and contractual rights to privacy. The action by ‘Aquacool_2000’ as John Doe is believed to be the first suit against Yahoo! for disclosing personal information, / read more

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to decide this week (May 15) whether to support privacy regulation or continue with their existing policy allowing the industry to regulate itself. / read more

The G8 Paris conference on fighting cybercrime heard sharply differing approaches to the problem from government and industry. / read more

Eversheds, a leading UK and European law firm, has launched, an online dispute resolution service for domain name and other internet related disputes, which it claims is the only such service in the world. / 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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