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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 2 Issue: 6
(June 2000)


The EU Article 31 Committee has approved the US Commerce Department’s Safe Harbor proposals, paving the way for agreement on the long drawn out negotiations over the transfer of data between Europe and the US. / read more

The UK Government has delayed ‘until later this year’ implementation of the Distance Selling Directive, to take account of industry criticisms of the Draft Regulations, which were to have come into force on 4 June. / read more

US AUCTION site eBay has won a preliminary injunction against Bidder’s Edge (BE), an auction site aggregator, which prohibits Bidder’s Edge from accessing eBay’s computer systems by use of any automated querying program without eBay’s written authorisation. / read more


The web is a mixture of avarice and altruism, with the former often masquerading as the latter. The battle between the music industry, and Napster illustrate the point. / read more

The US Music Industry’s legal assault to maintain control of online copyright stepped up another gear this month with the 12 June filing of a motion for a preliminary injunction against MP3 file swapping company, Napster. / read more

The Financial Services and Markets Act (the ‘FISMA’) finished its year-long progress through the UK Parliament on 12 June 2000 and obtained Royal Assent, and so became law, two days later. It will take several more months before the FISMA actually comes into effect; a good guess at the moment is that it will principally come into effect in or just after the first quarter of 2001, although the Government has not so far laid down any proposed timetable and different provisions are likely to come into force at different times. / read more

The ICANN procedure has hit the headlines again due to the efforts of high profile individuals without registered trade marks such as “Julia Roberts” to reclaim their names when registered by third parties in the .com, .net or .org domains. The press has suggested that the ICANN procedure is being used to create a new personality right and that in the United Kingdom this is a radical step forward. This article looks at the ICANN decisions which deal with the names of individuals without registered trade marks against the background of existing UK law. / read more

The Government’s stated objective is to “make the UK the best place in the world for e-commerce”. To this end the Government recognises that the UK needs a “modern flexible market framework, confident consumers and businesses, and a Government that leads the way”. Although the Government has suggested that the Electronic Communications Act is a “significant step” towards achieving all of these objectives there is still some way to go before much of the red tape which currently hampers the growth of e-commerce is swept away. Nevertheless there is much in the Act and in the proposed secondary legislation under it which will make doing business electronically much easier. / read more

Looked at legally, online auctions share many of the characteristics of conventional retail e-business, but more so. And e-business already pushes the boat, as far as lawyers are concerned, rather further out than is comfortable. / read more

The modern economy depends on public confidence.

It is a truism that there are many ways in which a modern national economy depends on public confidence. One obvious example is the need for public confidence in the enforceability of bargains made on the basis of mutual trust, and in the effectiveness of records of those bargains for the purpose of enforcing them. A less obvious one is the need for public confidence in the relative reliability and privacy of the communications infrastructure of telephones, fax transmissions and postal services. But without such confidence, many bargains now made remotely would depend instead on face-to-face meetings attended by trusted third parties. We would be thrown back on the business methods of past centuries. Electronic commerce introduces new factors. / read more

A group of leading international businesses including Microsoft, AT&T, America Online and IBM has put forward a proposal to establish a worldwide network of clearing houses to resolve online consumer disputes over purchasing online. / read more

The European Commission’s proposal to impose VAT payments on US companies selling digitised goods over the internet into Europe has met with strong opposition from US suppliers. / 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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