Saturday, 30 October 2010

Excellent summary of contract rules in e-commerce

This article is by a colleague of mine on the Society for Computers and Law Media Board - we are arranging for free access to SCL articles by academics, and this piece shows how useful it will be.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Reading for next Wednesday 4-6pm

Lecture theatre to be allocated - you will receive an email.
Required reading:
Edwards and Waelde pp.101-119.
RTS Flexible Systems v. Molkeroi Alois Muller GMBH [2010] UKSC 14 (summary) and report.
Optional reading:
Reed and Angel eds. (2007) Computer Law pp.199-214 esp. pp.199-208.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Changes to teaching 28 October, 3 November, 12 November

As we now have a much larger class, we will try to find a more suitable room - ideally a lecture theatre.
This week, there will be an extra class on Thursday afternoon 28th October for those who missed the first lecture - details to follow.
We will also have some date changes in the following two weeks, when the class moves to Wednesday 3rd November and then to Friday 12th November.
Thereafter, its Thursdays right through to the end of term.
This changes are unavoidable - and much better for the class!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Da Cunha Virginia c/Yahoo de Argentina SRL

Da Cunha Virginia c/Yahoo de Argentina SRL, Argentinian Court of Appeals (2010 overturning 2008) – note Yahoo! Press release:
On August 13, 2010, an Argentine Appellate Court overturned a 2008 ruling of a lower court that had found Yahoo! de Argentina SRL and Google Argentina  liable for defamation in the case of an Argentine entertainer, Virginia Da Cunha. Da Cunha is one of several Argentine celebrities who have been seeking money damages in relation to the companies’ alleged failure to block all third-party owned and controlled sexually-oriented Web sites that contain their name or images. In issuing the 2-1 decision in favor of the companies, the Appellate Court concluded that the companies could be held liable for damages based on a defamation claim only if they were made aware of clearly illegal content and were negligent in removing it. The Appellate Court stated: 
“…this Court finds no liability can be held against Defendants (search engines) for injurious search results that appeared on the Internet before Defendants have received notice requesting the exclusion of said search results. The mere possibility that a (defendant) search engine produces search results from third party sites that yield offensive and scandalous information about an individual, which may cause injury or damage to that person’s image or reputation, does not by itself mean that said individual has a right to seek damages directly against the search engines.”

Reading for 28 October class: 'Online contracts'

Directive 1999/93/EC 13 December 1999 on a Community framework for electronic signatures: OJ L 13, 19.1.2000, p. 12.
ECD Article 9 and Recitals 34-35.
Report on the Operation of Directive 1999/93/EC.
Angel, J. (1999) Why use digital signatures for electronic commerce? JILT 2.
Background: Part II of Waelde and Edwards (2009) Law and the Internet. This is the required textbook for the course.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Mobile Money Transfer Service - Vodafone

In March 2007, Safaricom, which is part owned by Vodafone and the leading mobile communication provider in Kenya, launched a mobile payment solution developed by Vodafone.[36] M-PESA is aimed at mobile customers who do not have a bank account, typically because they do not have access to a bank or their income is insufficient to justify a bank account. The M-PESA system allows customers to deposit and withdraw cash via local agents, and transfer money to other mobile phone users via SMS. By February 2008, the M-PESA money transfer system in Kenya had gained 1.6 million customers[37] and Vodafone announced that it was to extend the service to Afghanistan.[38] The service here was launched on the Roshan network under the brand M-Paisa with a different focus to the Kenyan service. M-Paisa was targeted as a vehicle for microfinance institutions' (MFI) loan disbursements and repayments, alongside business to business applications such as salary disbursement. Afghanistan launch was followed in April 2008 by the announcement of further a further launch of M-PESA in Tanzania. As an operator of money transmission services, Vodafone became subject to anti-money laundering regulation and in July 2008, it was revealed that it had deployed a sanctions and PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) screening solution fromDatanomic for weekly screening of 2.5 million customers in Tanzania.[39] The screening service was to be rolled out to Afghanistan, Kenya, India and Datanomic disclosed that the solution might be used to screen all of Vodafone's 300 million customers globally.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

EC consultation on E-Commerce Directive closes 5 November

The European Commission wishes to study in detail the various reasons for the limited takeoff of electronic commerce, as stated in the Retail Market Monitoring Report “Towards more efficient and fairer retail services in the internal market for 2020” (COM (2010) 355) and evaluate the implementation of the Directive, in accordance with its Article 21, as announced in the Communication “A Digital Agenda for Europe” (COM (2010) 245). For this purpose, Commission services wish to consult interested parties directly and receive their reaction and experience on a number of subjects:
  • The level of development, both national and cross-border, of information society services.
  • Issues concerning the application of Article 3(4) by the Member States (administrative cooperation).2
  • Contractual restrictions on cross-border on-line sales.
  • Cross-border on-line commercial communications, in particular by the regulated professions.
  • The development of on-line press services.
  • The interpretation of the provisions concerning the liability of intermediary information society service providers.
  • The development of on-line pharmacy services
  • The resolution of on-line disputes.
1) As defined in Directive 98/48/CE: any Information Society service, that is to say, any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services.
2) On-line gambling will be the subject of a consultation scheduled for the second half of 2010.
3) Otherwise known as the “country of origin principle”: each Member State shall ensure that the information society services provided by a service provider established on its territory complies with the national provisions applicable in the Member State in question which fall within the “coordinated field”, even when he provides the service in another Member State.

Friday, 15 October 2010

E-Commerce a decade after E-commerce Directive

Conference in Brussels, Thursday 28 October 2010 - see the programme. The abstract explains clearly what has changed:
"Ten years after the adoption of the Directive of 8 June 2000, this international Congress aims at analyzing main rules or principles it settled, in order to determine if they are still adapted to current features of services provided by the internet. Indeed, with Web2.0, new services, which did not exist as such in 2000, are available (social networks, wiki, etc.). Contracts are not necessary concluded between professionals (B2B) or between a professional and a consumer (B2C): C2C relationships, through eCommerce marketplaces especially dedicated to consumers or online auction websites, become more and more frequent. Several services are also provided by trusted third parties (time-stamping, archiving, registered letters, etc.). New kinds of advertising can be observed (in particular, addressing to minors). Contract relationships can also be concluded and performed by electronic means, for instance in the case of digital contents like music, software or movies. After general speeches dealing with transversal topics related to eCommerce, the following ones will focus on these issues, and analyze “consumer protection”, “legal barriers to electronic contracts” and “intermediaries’ liability”."

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

European Parliament: new EU contract and consumer law not suitable for digital products

See the report by the MEP in charge of the most important Parliamentary committee, adopted this week: "Amend Recital 12a: The importance of European markets for online digital content is increasing and therefore it should be clear that goods referred to in this Directive also include digital products, such as downloads and software."

Cross-border Internet dispute resolution: Week 10

Excerpt available from Dr Julia Hornle's book from Cambridge University Press - if you intend to specialise in this area, you might consider reading the whole book.