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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 3 Issue: 10
(October 2001)


UK e-tail sales, running at £366 million for the month of September, show an 149% rise on the figure for September 2000 according to figures released by the Interactive Media Retail Group, the e-business industry group. There was a 6% rise in e-tail sales month on month from August to September this year. / read more

E-commerce lawyers in Europe and internationally are concerned at the October 11 decision of the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, to block the initial .biz domain name allocation, where there have been competing domain name registrations. / read more

Business organisations are calling for speedy clarifications and consultation with the UK government over its plans to force businesses to hold records of emails and internet usage for twelve months. The plans, which have yet to be spelt out in detail, are part of the Government’s response to the events of September 11. / read more


The Superior Court of Los Angeles’ injunction in the .biz case once again highlights the issue of jurisdiction and who runs the internet. / read more

The best known law which applies to all marketing is the Data Protection Act 1998. Emails involve processing and many email addresses contain personal data. Quite simply email marketing in general must comply with the Act. / read more

Every reputable business demands a clear legal framework in order to underline its contractual relationship with trading partners and customers, but there is confusion and controversy about how to create an appropriate regulatory framework for e-commerce. The issue is now such a mess that Members of the European Parliament have joined industry in calling for a full public debate and consultation on the so-called ‘country of origin’ principle before it’s too late. / read more

Database owners in the UK have been concerned about their ability to protect their databases following the referral by the Court of Appeal of British Horseracing Board v William Hill1 to The European Court of Justice. This article examines the interpretation of the “sui generis” database right by Courts in several European jurisdictions. / read more

Industry is looking for an electronic equivalent to the handwritten signature. If PKI and digital signatures are evidentially too weak to bear the weight of B2C commerce, how can we make good the evidential shortfall? / read more

The European Commission attempted to deal with the legal uncertainty concerning international data transfers from the EU by approving on June 15, 2001 “model contractual clauses” for the transfer of personal data to data controllers outside the EU.1 However, on September 17, seven leading business organizations (International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Federation of European Direct Marketing (FEDMA), the EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (Amcham), the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), International Communications Round Table (ICRT), and the European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association (EICTA)) submitted an alternative set of model contract clauses to the European Commission for approval; the alternative clauses have since been formally supported by other major business organizations, such as the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe (UNICE).2 This article describes the legal background of the model clauses, gives an overview of the Commission’s clauses, and explains why dissatisfaction with the Commission’s clauses led the business groups to submit an alternative set of clauses for approval. / read more

This article considers how consumption taxes such as value added tax (VAT) could be applied to sales of digitised products delivered over the Internet, where the supplier and the customer are in different states. There is a problem because any one state’s consumption tax should in principle apply to sales to customers within that state. But digitised products can be delivered into a state without that state’s authorities noticing. The normal approach for goods, of applying consumption taxes at the point of physical import, therefore breaks down. Governments need to implement business-friendly approaches. This is essential, because business support will have to be earned. Tax authorities will be asking businesses outside their jurisdictions to collect tax for them, and they will have no way of forcing recalcitrant businesses to co-operate. There are several stages to the problem, and this article will tackle them in turn. / 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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