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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 4 Issue: 6
(June 2002)


The UK Government’s Inland Revenue online tax service was still offline as we went to press. The service was taken down on 27 May after several users found that they had been given access to other users’ tax records. The Inland Revenue was unable to give a date when the service would be available, but expected that it would be online again in ‘days rather than weeks’. / read more

The European Directive on Electronic Communications Privacy has been approved by the European Parliament, drawing to a close the intense lobbying battle that has marked the Directive’s passage. / read more

A WIPO panel has rejected a PricewaterhouseCoopers claim for the domain name The panel accepted the case put forward by Hong Kong-based Ultimate Search that it had rights or a legitimate interest in the name: ‘They registered a portfolio of domain names incorporating common words, generic terms, short terms, and useful phrases. These domain names are employed in conjunction with an advertising subscription database, operated by a third party advertising consolidator, to return search results from the database on the basis of correspondence between terms in the domain names and search terms for which advertisers have paid subscriptions on a performance basis.’ / read more


Data protection, data ownership and data privacy are concepts which are taking centre stage in both political and business life.

The uproar over the UK Government’s plans to give sweeping powers to government departments, local authorities and national bodies to access personal data and communications is an indication of the much higher awareness of both public and government of the central role of controlling access to data. / read more

Online contracts have been in the news again in the light of a recent US case (Hughes v AOL) and of the Office of Fair Trading’s ruling on consumer rights during the seven day ‘cooling-off’ period provided under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (the ‘Distance Selling Regulations’). / read more

On 30 May 2002 the European Parliament approved the Draft Electronic Communications Privacy Directive, ending a game of legislative ping-pong that has lasted almost two years. The original proposal of the European Commission was aimed at adapting the existing data protection law to new developments in the electronic communications sector. However, the content of the Directive has proved quite controversial because of its significant impact on e-businesses. / read more

Most people would take exception to being ‘owned’ or even having their information regarded as someone else’s asset. The commercial reality is that the customer and information pertaining to the customer is extremely valuable, as it is the key to controlling the customer relationship. When a customer buys a CD from a branded website, a car from a distributor or subscribes to a telephone company, there is a good chance that more than one company will be involved in the supply chain. It is in these circumstances that the issue of customer ownership arises due to the value of the information. / read more

It was not meant to be this way. Just a few short years ago, ‘convergence’ was the word on every television company executive’s lips. We were to be a digital nation within the next decade and analogue television was to be left to the dinosaurs. So what went wrong? This article takes a look at how we reached the present situation, what hope there is for convergence in future and those bidding for spectrum left behind by ITV Digital. / read more

Brand owners continue to be concerned about the dilution of their brands and threats to their other intellectual property on the internet. However, there is now a wealth of authority from the courts and new legislative provisions that should come into force in the next twelve months, which brand owners can rely on in their fight against the cyber-plagiarist. / read more

The content licensing industry is one of the booming branches of electronic commerce. This article examines the opportunities and the potential pitfalls involved in the online exploitation of rights. / read more

DG Justice and Home Affairs is arguably one of the busiest Directorates in the European Commission at the moment. Partly as a response to September 11, but also as a reaction to the fundamental importance of computer systems and their security, this DG, under Commissioner Vitorino, has been behind some of the most recent cybercrime initiatives. / 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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