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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 4 Issue: 3
(March 2002)


World Online Gambling Law Report is launched this month by Cecile Park Publishing Ltd, publishers of e-commercelaw &policy. The newsletter is launched as the UK government unveils radical plans for the overhaul of gambling laws, which look set to allow casinos to apply for online gambling licences. “Online gambling, both on the web and through iTV, is set for explosive growth but the international legal and regulatory framework is confused and contradictory,” said Lindsey Greig, Managing Editor. / read more

The UK government’s draft regulations implementing the E-commerce Directive have been given a guarded welcome by UK business.
“The Directive itself is a bit clunky and has not kept pace with technology,” said Kiran Sandford, IT & Telecoms Partner at City firm Taylor Joynson Garrett. “The Government had little choice in the light of the Directive but where the Government has had discretion they have used it sensibly (see p7). For many reputable companies much of what is in the regulations will already be part of their best practice.”
There is still concern around a number of important issues.
“The extent to which outbound services may be affected by legal restrictions imposed by other European jurisdictions and the extent to which companies established outside the UK are likely to be affected by restrictions imposed by UK law, remain uncertain,” said Eduardo Ustaran of Berwin Leighton Paisner.
/ read more

Freeserve, the UK ISP, has issued Judicial Review proceedings against HM Customs and Excise for its long standing decision to exempt AOL from accounting for VAT in the UK. / read more


The draft e-commerce regulations put out for consultation by the UK government in March mark another significant step forward in the path to developing a clear framework for operating business online. At times, or rather at all times, the process is painfully slow - but there is general satisfaction that the Government has done the best it can in the circumstances. / read more

In February the European Commission finally published its draft directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. The Commission’s action follows a lengthy consultation period, which again brought into focus the tensions between European industry, which tended to prefer an increase in the patent protection available for computer programs, and the open source software community, which largely advocated an outright ban on software patents. What both these constituencies had in common, however, was a belief that the existing position with its basis in the European Patent Convention (EPC) was unclear and demanded reform. / read more

Where are we now?
Like much of the e-business sector, B2B online marketplaces have suffered in the cycle of hype and bubble-bursting. The promise of buyer-focused marketplaces creating unstoppable purchasing power and opening new markets to suppliers has not generally heralded the revolution in the way we do business which many predicted. However, lessons are being learned, models adjusted and, with the right contractual framework, online marketplaces seem placed to become increasingly important in providing efficiency gains for many commercial supply chains. In 2001, Jupiter MMXI, a research company, noted that whilst only 0.5 to 1.5 per cent of all business-to-business transactions are currently conducted through these exchanges the number is still expected to increase sharply. Much has been written in the past on competition law issues which arise from these relationships. However, this article takes a more pragmatic look at getting the contract framework right for e-marketplaces and considers some associated dispute resolution issues. / read more

The Electronic Commerce Directive (EC Directive 2000/31/EC) was adopted on 8 June 2000. The UK Government has now published the draft Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 to implement the Directive into UK law. / read more

The E-Commerce Directive (“ECD”) is the first of a number of measures to pass into Community law which are set to open up the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to much more widespread cross-border provision of financial services. It is an element of the European Commission’s Financial Services Action Plan which consists of some 42 different measures aimed, according to the deadline set by the Lisbon European Council, at establishing an integrated European market in financial services by 2005. / read more

Following the decision in Godfrey v Demon Internet Ltd,1 much has been written about the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for the publication of websites containing defamatory statements. However, there has been little, if any, commentary on the liability of internet search engines for including defamatory websites in their search results. / read more

There are two principal concerns of an ASP customer - reliability and security. This second article in the series discusses the different aspects of security that should be covered in an ASP contract. / 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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