The advent of the Internet dramatically changed the way in which business is done globally. Commercial transactions are conducted electronically rather than in person. The government has implemented the Electronic Transactions Act to regulate electronic transactions in an attempt to protect online consumers.
The Supreme Court has rendered four anticipated rulings in relation to Google's liability for its paid referencing service, AdWords. The four rulings implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which considered the cases in a referral, and annul the appeal rulings that held Google liable for trademark infringement.
Operating online can have its challenges. As online trading is quite a new phenomenon in China, as yet there is no perfect solution to the problems connected with it. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued the Provisional Measures for the Administration of Trade and Services on the Internet, a first-of-its-kind prescriptive document designed specifically to regulate trading conduct on the Internet.
The Supreme Court recently issued two judgments on the interpretation of the 'actual knowledge' concept set out in Article 16 of the Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce Law in order to provide exemptions to service providers that carry out data hosting services.
The Federal Supreme Court has published a long-awaited decision on the liability of internet users whose internet access has been used for illegal file-sharing. As a result of the ruling, rights owners are increasingly likely to monitor the dissemination of their content and take measures in order to limit its uncontrolled dissemination on illegal
An artist in Germany posted images of her artwork on her website. When she realized that Google displayed thumbnail versions of her artwork whenever an Internet user searched for her name, the artist took legal action against Google, claiming that Google's behaviour violated her copyright to the images. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Google.
In accordance with the government's aim of liberalizing the online gambling sector before the 2010 World Cup, the National Assembly recently adopted the proposed legislation as presented by the Senate so that it could be ratified and promulgated. However, the Socialist opposition has challenged the terms for liberalization before the Constitutional Council.
The Court of Milan's conviction of three Google executives for violating data protection law provoked strong reactions, with many commentators claiming that the legal grounds for the decision threatened the freedom of the Internet. The recent publication of the full text of the decision sheds more light on the case, correcting this view and spelling out the ramifications for the processing of sensitive personal data.
The new E-commerce Law establishes the rules governing, among other things,
e-commerce activity and information society services, and the protection of parties to such transactions. The definition of 'information society services' set out in the law includes services provided at a distance by electronic means, on the request of the recipient, against compensation.
The Court of Milan has convicted three Google executives of violating Italian protection provisions in connection with a video, uploaded onto the Google Video website, of a boy with Down's syndrome being bullied by his classmates. In addition to violation of data protection provisions, the defendants were charged with defamation; their acquittal on the latter charge sheds significant light on the judge's reasoning.
In line with the decision of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at the end of 2009 to allow domain names to be registered in Arabic, Chinese and other non-Latin scripts (internationalized domain names (IDNs)), 16 applications have been filed for country-level IDNs. Accordingly, the launch of Arabic-language IDNs, including '.امارات' ('.emarat'), appears imminent.
In the event of a disputed registration of a '.it' domain name, a reassignment procedure is the quickest and least expensive option for trademark owners. However, this administrative procedure does not exclude possible future litigation. Interested parties should consider whether they are entitled to register or oppose registration of a '.it' domain name and how they can act in the event of a dispute.
According to recent press reports, Italy's tax police has been investigating the directors of Google's Italian subsidiary for tax evasion. Future developments could have wider implications for the e-commerce sector as Google's business and marketing model is common to many other internet companies, which may be forced to consider pre-emptive tax-structuring changes.
Google, a leading online service provider in Germany (among other countries), has been exposed to legal action on various aspects of its business regarding the terms of service relating to its use of data generated by its users. A recent decision of the Hamburg Regional Court raised fundamental questions regarding data protection and the validity of terms and conditions for online service providers.
August 2009 marked one year since the '.ae' Domain Administration (.aeDA) registry system went live. This update provides some background to the .aeDA, along with information relating to '.ae' domain name eligibility. It also looks at the '.ae' dispute resolution policy and briefly contrasts this with domain name dispute procedures in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
An amendment to the Internet Address Resource Act which will provide protection for domain names in Korea was recently announced. Petitioners filing actions under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy may now also raise a claim under the Internet Address Resource Act since its scope has been extended to cover not only country-code top-level domain names, but also generic top-level domain names.
In a conflict between a domain name and another person's trademark the content of the domain is key. In a recent decision the Supreme Court had to decide whether to apply the same principle if the conflict is between a domain name and another person's name.
New legislation that allows for new online lotteries and new means of playing lottery-style games is likely to introduce online cash gaming in Italy. Other provisions implement changes in taxation and allow for measures to give operators greater choice in the betting products that they offer. However, the State Monopolies Authority retains broad control over the sector.
From September 2009 the validity period for Finnish domain names will be extended to a maximum period of five years at a time. Under the amended Domain Name Act it will be possible to reserve '.fi' domain names or a period of one, three or five years at a time.
The number of people who find that defamatory information about themselves is available on the Internet is increasing. The government proposes that a committee should answer questions on violations on the Internet. Its primary aim will be to provide telephone and email advice to the general public to determine whether a published piece of information contravenes any relevant legislation.