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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 5 Issue: 3
(March 2003)


The US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Victoria’s Secret, the US lingerie retailer, had not had its trademark diluted by a Kentucky-based sex shop, Victor’s Little Secret. / read more

The UK Committee of Advertising Practice launched a new code on March 4 which makes obtaining the ‘explicit consent of consumers’ necessary before they can be sent emails and text messages. / read more

Rightsholders are warning directors in leading blue chip corporations that they could face ‘criminal sanctions’ and their companies could face substantial claims for damages if their employees are found to be downloading copyright material at the workplace. / read more


The long-awaited, much maligned and massively expensive 3G revolution is soon to be with us.

The failure of over-hyped and under achieving WAP services has bred a degree of cynicism amongst observers and wariness among consumers about the potential of these services.

There are still question marks about the quality of handsets and concerns about the speed with which data will be transmitted. Yet, as some observers have pointed out, the expense, clunkiness and technical difficulties of the first mobile phones should not be forgotten - those early difficulties did not stop them becoming the ubiquitous phenomenon that they now are. / read more

On 4 March 2003 the Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”) launched the 11th edition of the “British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion”, now entitled the “British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing” (the “CAP Code”). The revised CAP Code introduced a number of new provisions relating to the use of individuals’ data for marketing activities including in relation to electronic methods of communications. The changes may well seem familiar to those acquainted with Directive 2002/58/EC, which deals with privacy in the electronic communications sector. Have the provisions of the Directive been implemented by the back door? / read more

Last month Google purchased Pyra Labs, the parent company of, one of a number of successful companies providing customers with the tools to set up their own weblogs or “blogs”. AOL is said to be preparing to add blogging to the homepage services it offers users and major internet players are now becoming involved in and promoting the use of blogs. This rapid development of a new form of publishing by individuals involves legal risks for blogging publishers, who are likely to ignore the fact that material published on the internet can be accessed in any country in the world and will be subject to the laws of numerous jurisdictions. No legal claims have yet been brought against the operater of a blog site, but it may only be a matter of time. / read more

As seen in the article “Hyper Distribution and the Mobile Network” in last month’s edition of e-commercelaw&policy, “peer to peer” (P2P) communication has become a hugely significant force in the media world, both in the fixed and mobile arenas. Once again we will be focussing in this article on the phenomenon of “peer power” and the ability of the rightsholder community to reclaim it from the pirates and unauthorised users. However, in doing so, will they risk crossing the line into illegality themselves? / read more

Following years of debate, European Community Directive 2001/29/EC “on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society” (“the Directive”) will be transposed into UK Law - it is intended but now looks unlikely - by 31 March 2003. This article examines the key elements of the Directive and its likely implementation into UK law. / read more

Measures announced in the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report provide a valuable incentive for smaller technology companies to develop new remuneration strategies. This article looks at what’s on offer. / read more

Micropayments are big business: recent research indicates that one in five UK adults have paid for SMS alerts or logos in the past year in a market worth £140 million. A mere £60 million was spent on ring tones. Less than a year after the UK’s regulatory regime for electronic money came into force, the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) is reviewing its guidance on the type of payment schemes which are caught by the legislation. The review has been spurred by the growing use of prepaid mobile airtime to pay for a range of services. In essence, the FSA’s message is “if it looks like e-money, we’ll regulate it”. The development of 3G and other new services is also being kept under review. This article considers developments in online payment systems and their regulation in the UK since 27 April 2002 and the blurring of the distinction between conventional e-money and reverse billing payment models. / 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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