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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 2 Issue: 7
(July 2000)


The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has responded to requests to look further at stamping out bad faith domain name registration. / read more

The UK Data Protection Commission is concerned about the the sale of personal data by bankrupt dot coms. The Commission is considering the legality of treating such data as an asset to be bought and sold. / read more

The German subsidiary of has won, what might prove, a landmark victory in a case brought by German travel company L’Tur Tourismus, who unsuccessfully tried to claim’s name was ‘misleading and anti-competitive’ (See E-Commerce Law & Policy vol 2 issue 3). / read more


You can positively hear the beating of the wings of chickens coming home to roost as the dot com shake out starts to gain force. / read more

A WIPO panel has found that a domain name,, although registered in bad faith, should not be transferred from its current owner, as the current owner had not and was not making any ‘use’ of the domain. / read more

The Department of Trade and Industry has published a simplified statement of the forthcoming Distance Selling Regulations 2000 in the form of a leaflet called “Home Shopping: new rights for consumers - a guide for business” (available at / read more

The hype surrounding companies and e-commerce has been substantial and it is very easy to get carried away and forget that the responsibilities, rules and regulations surrounding these companies are no different from those placed on any other company. It could be argued that there has been a degree of irresponsibility on the part of lenders who have advanced funding, on the basis of unrealistic business plans, to young e-commerce entrepreneurs, with limited business experience and who are ill-equipped to deal with the problems thrown up by the roller coaster world of business. / read more

On 7 June 2000, the European Commission published proposals to apply VAT to sales of digitised products, such as software, films and music, delivered directly over the Internet from outside the European Community. The proposals are in paper COM(2000) 349 final and are available The proposals are going through a series of meetings of representatives of member states. There will be several redrafts, and substantial changes are possible.

The proposals fit well with the principles of VAT. Unfortunately, there are serious doubts both about the enforceability of the Commission’s proposals and about their acceptability to member states. / read more

Wordstuffing gets the thumbs down in first UK decision concerning the use of Metatags, the hidden code of websites to help search engines find the sites wanted by Internet users. / read more

Businesses are generally a bit remiss when it comes to securing ownership of copyright in commissioned work. This is especially true of designs for logos and general advertising material. With a few exceptions where a designer has held a client to ransom, the commercial effect of this has probably been limited. However, with the advent of the corporate website, which is of prime importance to many businesses, the old habits have not changed; the stakes have just increased. / read more

Consider the following statements: (i) Local and public authorities do not carry out profit making business. (ii) Local authority and public sector services are inefficient and largely people or paper based. (iii) E-commerce, information technical services and the internet are only of interest to local authorities in respect of their functions as education authorities. (iv) Compared with industry, local and public authorities are small fry for the IT industry. If you have read any of the statements above and consider that any are true you have not only missed a revolution in the provision of public sector services but, if you are involved in the IT industry, whether directly or in an advisory capacity, you are in danger of missing out in a growth market that is as diverse as it is vast. / read more

After a flurry of meetings in early June, a political agreement was reached at EU Ministerial level on the Copyright Directive - This is subject to a formal Common Position to be adopted by the Council (without discussion), probably before the end of July. It will then go to the European Parliament for its Second Reading under the co-decision procedure. The Directive is therefore unlikely to be adopted before the end of 2000, with Member States having a further two years to implement it. / read more

The US-EU Safe Harbor data protection agreement has been becalmed after the European Parliament voted against confirmation of the adequacy of the current US data protection provisions. / 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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