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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 4 Issue: 12
(December 2002)


The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling that the William Hill organisation could breach a UK software gaming patent despite hosting its games on a server in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. / read more

The UK Internet Service Providers Association has given a warm welcome to a Law Commission report, Defamation and the Internet, which calls for a review of the law of defamation. / read more

The Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) has obtained Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) in seven states against online auction sellers of pirate DVD’s and videos. The sellers all used eBay auctions to distribute their goods. / read more


The willingness of courts to assert jurisdiction over material published on the internet is not surprising. Judges are unlikely purchasers of the idea that cyberspace should be lawless terrain. / read more

>The recent decision by the High Court of Australia in a libel action brought by the mining magnate, Joseph Gutnick, claiming that an article published in the online version of Dow Jones’ Barron’s magazine was defamatory, has confirmed how the laws on jurisdiction apply to publication of material on the internet. The case is of interest because it is the first instance of a national appeal court providing confirmation of where online publication takes place for the purposes of a libel action. It highlights the risks involved for publishers who fail to take full account of the fact that material published on the internet can be accessed in any country in the world. / read more

The threat of digital piracy has required the major players in the movie industry, the US studios, to re-examine their business models in a bid to avoid the worst of the problems faced by the global music industry. Finding a compelling and secure means for online film distribution remains the pet project of, and the focus of substantial investment for, the major rights holders. / read more

In August 2000, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published a paper commissioned from the Frontier Economics Group entitled ‘E-Commerce and its Implications for Competition Policy’. The Report concluded that the current competition law framework is sufficient to cope with developments in e-commerce. Less than two years later, in April 2002, the OFT published another report, this time by Charles River Associates (CRA) called ‘Innovation and Competition Policy’ dealing with the ‘New Economy’1. The contrast in the conclusion of the two reports could not be greater: CRA believe that existing anti-trust laws are insufficient, the distinction between dominance and its abuse should be abandoned, the traditional economic formula for identifying relevant markets (the ‘SSNIP’ test) is irrelevant and a special test is required for predatory practices, as in ‘New Economy’ markets such abusive activity can be cost-free. Who is right? / read more

The United States and Europe have been struggling to come to terms with the potential loss of tax revenue through e-commerce. While the US Federal government has supported a moratorium on internet taxes for access and digitised products, the individual states have been concerned at the loss of revenue from out of state e-tailers. This article looks at a recent agreement by the US National Governors Association to streamline the state tax system and the European taxation plans for e-commerce. / read more

The Distance Selling Regulations came into force two years ago. But it is in the last year that their impact has begun to be felt with several high profile disputes involving easyCar, Amazon and Books Online as well as a host of smaller such disputes. This article looks at how the regulations are affecting business and what measures need to be taken to comply with them. / 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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