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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 5 Issue: 2
(February 2003)


Ladbrokes looks set to appeal to the European Court of Justice after a Dutch Court, in a precedent setting decision, ordered the company to block access to their website by Dutch citizens or face a daily fine of E10,000. / read more

The New Year has seen the marathon struggle by intellectual property rights holders to control their digital content played out in both UK and Norwegian Courts.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) celebrated winning a summary injunction on January 29 in the High Court in London against Easyinternet Cafes Ltd, part of the Easy Group founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Mr Justice Peter Smith found the company guilty of copyright infringement by allowing customers to download pirate music from the internet and then, for a £5 fee, have the music burned onto a CD. / read more

Rights holders in the movie and music industry are deeply concerned about the impact of the acquittal of Jon Johansen in Oslo City Courtís code-cracking case in January.

Criminal proceedings had been brought against Johansen at the instigation of the film industry under section 145(2) of the Criminal Code. / read more


Intellectual property rights holders are still floundering in their attempts to combat the wave of digital piracy unleashed by the web. The British Phonographic Industryís pleasure at their success in their action against easyinternetcafes is a mark of their general failure to halt large scale copying of their memberís work. The movie industry is in grave danger of following in the footsteps of their colleagues in the music industry. / read more

Most of us get annoyed by spam, the term for unsolicited commercial email that was apparently inspired by a Monty Python sketch. Yet, however surprising it may be, spam does seem to find its market. Last year, for instance, luxury cars, cash and jewellery worth over $30 million were seized by officials from those behind a company in Arizona that promoted bogus penile and breast enlargement pills by spam. And the problem is not going away. According to email security firm MessageLabs, spam accounted for one in eight email messages in the UK in November 2002, up from one in 199 at the start of that year. / read more

Hyper-distribution. This concept combines peer-to-peer (ĎP2Pí) networks with the mobile media platform. This article looks at commercial, technical and legal issues involved in hyper-distribution / read more

The high profile decision of the Norwegian court in the Johansen or DeCSS case made for very interesting reading coming, as it did, so soon after the implementation date for the Copyright Directive. The case, details of which are set out below, was brought under the Norwegian criminal code. Norway is not a Member State and thus the various protections for copyright owners afforded by that Directive were not at the time nor will be available in Norway. Hence this affords us an interesting opportunity to consider what the outcome of the case might have been had the same facts been heard by a court in a Member State after the implementation date for the Directive. / read more

For many businesses in todayís information society, information is their most valuable asset. Information is everywhere - the key to unlocking its value lies in the ability of an organisation to collect, analyse and distribute pertinent data at all levels of business operations. But all of these activities provide opportunities for data to be misused, lost or corrupted. It is vital, therefore, that organisations understand the risks associated with management of information and put in place appropriate safeguards.

Over 70% of UK businesses now have a website and allow staff to communicate externally via email. However, 44% of UK businesses have suffered at least one malicious security breach in the past year, a continuation of an upward trend, and the average cost of a serious security incident is £30,000. While most businesses restored normal operations within a day of their worst security breach, 20% of large organisations that suffered an incident took more than a week to get business operations back to normal.1

This article discusses the various security risks to which an organisationís computer system may be exposed, examines potential resulting legal liabilities, and provides a checklist for minimising the occurrence and unwelcome consequences of security breaches. / read more

This article is the first in a series of two articles dealing with disclosure of electronic documents in litigation.

This first article introduces some of the general principles underlying electronic documents. These principles have been reasonably well described in the literature and we provide a brief summary here. The article goes on to examine the implications for companies, which are parties to litigation, of the wide definition of Ďdocumentí in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) which includes electronic copies. The implications are examined by mentioning some typical scenarios of electronic document storage within a modern business which lead to a potentially greater burden on the disclosure of information when the copies are electronic rather than paper.

The second article, in a forthcoming edition, will examine the implications of disclosure of electronic documents for companies which are not actually party to litigation, but which are the subject of a request or a court order that documents be disclosed. / 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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