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O2 looses legal torpedo at Everything Everywhere 4G monopoly

Mobile phone operator O2 will appeal against Ofcom's decision to allow a rival firm to launch superfast broadband services later this year using its existing network capabilities, according to media reports. O2 has written to the telecoms regulator to announce its intention to appeal Ofcom's decision to the Competition Appeals …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Aug 2012
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E-criminals nicked £205m from UK retailers last year

Online fraud and other 'e-crimes' have cost British retailers operating over the internet at least £205m in a year according to the first comprehensive study of the make-up and scale of crimes affecting e-commerce. According to figures (8-page / 590KB PDF) published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the direct and indirect …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Aug 2012
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Hunt vows: 'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

The government's pledge to provide countrywide broadband access by 2015 has received another boost from the Culture Secretary, who has promised the "fastest broadband of any major European country". In a speech at Google's Campus in East London, Jeremy Hunt said that speed was the most important aspect of the government's …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Aug 2012
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Facebook ordered to unmask anonymous trolls by beak

Facebook was given 24 hours to supply a court in Northern Ireland with the email addresses of account holders who used the site to post abusive messages about a Belfast company, according to press reports. Three staff members from the unnamed company have been targeted by messages on the site over a period of several months, the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Aug 2012
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ICO has yet to begin probing cookie violators

According to a freedom of information (FOI) request submitted by PC Pro magazine, 320 websites have been reported to the privacy watchdog through its online submission tool since a year's 'grace period' ended on 26 May. However, none of those sites have been investigated. "At present the information has not yet been analysed as …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Aug 2012
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Ready to patent that 'new' invention? Google is here to dash your hopes

The technology giant has created a new 'Prior Art Finder' which enables users to search "multiple sources" in order to review whether ideas they hope to patent are in fact novel. The tool, which "instantly pulls together information relevant" to patent applications, will enable inventors to review documents submitted with both …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Aug 2012
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Bitcoinica sued for $460,000 by 'out-of-pocket' punters

The operators of a website that earlier this year reported that a hacker had stolen units of virtual currency worth hundreds of thousands of pounds are being sued by four users that claim to be owed more than $460,000. According to documents submitted to a US court, four users of the Bitcoinica website have sued those involved …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Aug 2012
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Don't get sued or cuffed on Twitter: Read these top 10 pitfalls

Debates in Parliament, home visits from the police and distressed celebrities have all left tweeters a little unsure as to what is and what is not acceptable by law on Twitter. The list of those offending and those offended keeps growing with recent high profile reports referring to Louise Mensch, Tom Daley, Guy Adams, Steve …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Aug 2012
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Biz bosses 'to save £400m' as UK.gov axes green red-tape

More than 100 energy and climate change regulations are to be scrapped or improved in a bid to cut "red tape" for businesses, the government has announced. Energy Minister Charles Hendry said that, following a review, 86 regulations would be dropped completely while a further 48 regimes would be "improved". The full package of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Aug 2012
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Banking IT cowboys 'need whipping into shape by watchdog'

The technology underpinning the UK's financial services sector needs urgent investment if regulators are to be able to spot potential abuses and prevent future financial crises, an influential report has claimed. Intellect, the trade association for the UK technology sector, said in its report (62-page/5MB PDF) that banks should …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Aug 2012
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French minister: 3 strikes anti-piracy rule a 'waste of money'

The future of France's controversial "three strikes" copyright anti-infringement rule appears to have been called into question after the country's new culture minister branded the regime "expensive" and said that it had "not fulfilled its mission". In an interview with French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, Aurélie Filippetti …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Aug 2012
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Using copyright to avoid Freedom of Info law? Ha, ha, NICE try!

Public bodies that disclose copyright-protected information in order to comply with a request under freedom of information (FOI) laws are not guilty of copyright infringement, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) states that public bodies must not disclose …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2012
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Watchdog sets rules on ad-slinging in vid-streaming services

Media companies that provide video-on-demand (VOD) services are responsible for ensuring compliance with VOD advertising rules when advertising appears as a direct result of a user choosing to view VOD programmes, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has said. Those media service providers are not responsible for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Aug 2012
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Storing punters' till receipts? UK.gov wants you to hand it over

Businesses that electronically store personal data about consumers may be required to make some of that information available to those individuals "in a machine readable format" if plans under consideration by the government are followed through. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is consulting on whether …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Aug 2012
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British Gas parent to grab £500m North Sea gas tax break

The government has announced a new tax relief for operators of shallow-water gas fields in the UK Continental Shelf, ahead of its planned long-term gas strategy to be published this autumn. Its new £500m field allowance would, the government said, secure future investment in North Sea gas and create jobs. Centrica, the parent …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Aug 2012
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BT charged rivals 'unjustified' prices to use network – Appeals Court

The prices that BT charged rivals to access parts of its network to provide services to their subscribers were not justified, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The Court rejected claims by BT that the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had not acted in accordance with EU telecoms laws when it considered whether what it had charged …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Aug 2012
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Sellers flogging vid games to underage kids face jail, unlimited fine

Traders which supply video games without displaying the age rating could face two years in jail and an unlimited fine. Under the new regime, effective from yesterday and introduced by the Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012, the Video Standards Council (VSC) will take over responsibility for regulation of most video …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jul 2012
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Cloudy punters can't rely on 'certified' CSPs for data protection

A new online platform that enables prospective users of cloud computing services to assess the security features of registered cloud providers is to be welcomed, the UK's data protection watchdog has said. Amazon has become the latest cloud provider to publish details (42-page/475KB PDF) of how it ensures the security of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jul 2012
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UK ISPs promise punters 'full' and 'open' internet 'access'

A number of UK internet service providers (ISPs) have signed up to a voluntary code of practice that generally requires them to ensure that they are offering "full and open internet access" to their customers. BT, BSkyB, O2 and TalkTalk are among 10 ISPs to commit to the Open Internet Code of Practice (9-page / 52KB PDF). …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Jul 2012
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Commission to Euro biz: Show us your breaches

EU businesses could be required to flag up any breaches of their "network and information systems" under a new "strategic" action plan to combat cyber security problems across the trading bloc. The European Commission is planning to draft new laws on cyber security that could introduce a requirement for businesses to report when …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jul 2012
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France: Forcing Google to police YouTube is a non-non

Google does not have to proactively remove copyright infringing content that has been re-posted on YouTube because such a measure would breach EU law, France's highest court has ruled. The Court of Cassation said it would be "disproportionate to the aim pursued" for Google to prevent online postings of infringing videos from …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Jul 2012
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Gov must act on 'innocent' web-browsing copyright timebomb

The government should legislate rather than wait for the UK or the European courts to rule on whether internet users have to pay to browse websites, a UK media monitoring business has said. James Mackenzie, commercial director of Cutbot, told Out-Law.com that businesses and internet users could both suffer if the government …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Jul 2012
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Expert: EU Microsoft competition fine could reach $7bn

Microsoft could face a fine of up to $7bn (£4.49bn) if EU competition regulators find that the company failed to comply with a "critical remedy" it agreed to implement in 2009 to alleviate concerns that it was acting anti-competitively, an expert has said. The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2012

UK's tax-funded boffinry to be published FREE for all

Universities will be provided with funding to ensure that their academics' research papers are made more widely available, the government has said. The government broadly backed recommendations contained in a report by the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings in its policy aimed at supporting 'open …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Jul 2012
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Gambling site's 'no strings attached' offer had strings attached

The UK's advertising watchdog has banned an online betting advert for free bets because the company behind it did not make clear that users needed to accumulate certain winnings before the money could be withdrawn. The advert for online casino 888.com contained information that was not properly qualified and omitted details …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jul 2012
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Expert: BA doesn't need permission to google your face

British Airways (BA) may not need passengers' consent in order to identify them using images available on the internet, an expert has said. Data protection law specialist Danielle van der Merwe of Pinsent Masons (the law firm behind Out-Law.com), said that the company could argue that it is in its legitimate interests to process …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jul 2012
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Watch out, Apple: HTC ruling could hurt your patent income

Apple may review its patent licensing and enforcement strategy in light of a ruling by the UK's High Court last week, an expert has said. On 4 July the High Court ruled that three European patents that Apple sought to rely on in legal proceedings against HTC were invalid and that the Taiwanese device manufacturer had not been …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Jul 2012
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Gov: How can renewable power peddlers take on UK's Big 6?

The government is seeking views on how it can reduce the barriers to entry in the electricity market for smaller renewable energy generators. The call for evidence follows reports that these companies are finding it harder to obtain guarantees that companies will purchase their power. The government has published a call for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Jul 2012
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ISP CAN cut off pirates with 'three strike' rule, says Irish beak

Four music record companies have won a court order in Ireland overturning a ban placed on an anti-piracy policy operated by the country's largest internet service provider (ISP). In December last year Ireland's data protection watchdog had issued an enforcement notice banning Eircom from operating its 'three strikes' system. The …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Jul 2012
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Gah! EU data protection will STIFLE business, moans gov.UK

The European Commission has not calculated the full costs to businesses of changes to the EU data protection regime, the Government has said. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said that the Commission's assessment on the impact its draft General Data Protection Regulation would have on businesses does "not properly quantify the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

No need to comply with data laws if it's too difficult - EU ministers

Organisations will not have to abide by data protection laws if it would be too difficult, time-consuming and use up too many important resources to check whether information they hold is personally identifiable, the EU's Council of Ministers has proposed. The Council has outlined some revisions (112-page/575KB PDF) to the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Net publishing happens in the server AND the eyeball, says EU Bot

Online publishing of information takes place both in the location from where the information is served and the location where it is read, an advisor to Europe's highest court has said. Advocate General Yves Bot said the internet was a complex communications network and that the High Court in the UK had been wrong to determine …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

One court order could gag EVERY ISP in Denmark

Internet service providers (ISPs) and copyright holders in Denmark have agreed on a framework that would see all ISPs in the country block access to copyright-infringing content if one of the providers is ordered to do so by a court. The Danish Ministry of Culture said that it would work with ISPs and rights holders groups to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Jun 2012
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Row on between publishers, researchers over data mining techniques

Plans to enable researchers to use computerised techniques to read information contained in journal articles without infringing publishers' rights have drawn "strongly divided" views from the industry, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has said. The IPO has published (40-page/450KB PDF) a summary of responses it received to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jun 2012
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You want the Cloud? You can't have proper copyright, then

UK law makers and the judiciary should take note of new research that has claimed that a narrow reading of copyright law exceptions can result in an erosion of investment in new technologies, an expert has said. Harvard Business School Professor Josh Lerner has published a new report (32-page/300KB PDF) that claims that venture …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Jun 2012
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Gov mulls ban on wallet-draining charges for card payments

The government is to consult on plans to ban companies levying surcharges on consumers when they use payment cards later this summer, the Consumer Affairs minister has said. Some companies currently charge consumers a fee for buying goods or services using credit or debit cards or via other payment methods. Under government …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jun 2012
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Want to meddle with IP rights? Use the law, not amended regulations

Government plans to change the law so that future reforms to the copyright framework can be made through regulations rather than primary legislation could create problems for businesses, an expert has said. The proposed changes would make it easier for the government to change the law in relation to copyright. Earlier this week …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Jun 2012
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Phishing, cybersquatting scum could ruin gTLD fun for biz

Businesses face extra costs and risks because of new internet domains, but the publication of a list of newly applied-for domains will not allow them to calculate those risks precisely, an expert has said. Last summer directors at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is the body that oversees …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Jun 2012
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You can break EU cookie rules ... if your site breaks without cookies

Website operators can only take advantage of an exemption from new cookie laws if site users specifically request a service or function and that service would not work without the serving of the cookie, EU data protection regulators have warned. After changes to the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy) Directive …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Jun 2012
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W3C: 'Do not track' by default? A thousand times: NO!

New technology that stops websites gathering information about users should not be switched on by default, but should require an explicit instruction to begin working, an internet standards body has said. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is responsible for ensuring that web technology is based on an agreed set of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jun 2012
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Google Apps cloud fine print may not protect EU biz

EU businesses that provide applications to consumers through the Google Apps platform may require additional mechanisms to the new contract terms offered by Google - in order to legitimately transfer personal data collected from app users overseas, an expert has said. Google has announced that it will offer "model contract …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jun 2012
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You know what Google needs? Another Street View data-slurp probe

A UK inquiry should be held to determine whether Google knew that its Street View cars were collecting personal data over unsecure Wi-Fi networks for use in other projects, a politician has said. Claude Moraes, an MEP who represents London, said that allegations contained in a recent US regulator's report into the matter should …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jun 2012
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We'll pull the plug on info-leak smart meters, warns UK.gov

The government plans to place a specific obligation for data security on the suppliers of smart meters as part of its conditions for granting licences to install the technology and use it to monitor customers' energy supplies, it has confirmed. In its latest consultation [18-page/118KB PDF] on use of the technology, the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

French court: YouTube has done 'enough' to avoid copyright liability

The Tribunal de Grande Instance said that Google had made enough of an effort to remove copyrighted content that had been uploaded by YouTube users which the biggest TV company in France held rights for when told about the material's existence. The efforts made were sufficient to remove Google from liability for that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Online bookie can't scoop £50k losses made by 5-year-old

A man who blamed his girlfriend's five-year-old son for making loss-making trades in expensive natural resources through his online betting account is not bound by a term he agreed to on the bookmaker's website, the High Court has ruled. The term stated that an accountholder is deemed to have authorised all trading made under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 May 2012
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Publishing barons: Free speech a 'cloak for tawdry theft'

Search engines, internet service providers and the British Library are among a number of bodies trying to scale back the scope of copyright, the head of a UK trade body has said. Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, criticised the organisations, which, together with research councils, consumer watchdog …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Google now gets 250k copyright takedown requests EACH WEEK

Google now regularly receives more copyright 'notice and takedown' requests from rights-holders in a week than it did during the entirety of 2009, the company has said. The internet giant said it has experienced a 'rapid' increase in the number of takedown requests and added that it is "not unusual" for it to receive requests to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 May 2012
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Facebookers trigger vote to choke Zuck's data suck

Facebook may be forced to make changes to its data use policy after campaigners helped drive enough complaints about the company's own proposed amendments to trigger a user vote on the matter. Under Facebook's 'Statement of Rights and Responsibilities' the company is obliged to allow its users to vote on alternatives the company …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 May 2012
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Dole Office staff snooped into private data 992 times in 10 months

Staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were disciplined a total of 992 times for unlawfully or inappropriately accessing individuals' social security records between April 2011 and January this year. The figures were obtained following a freedom of information (FOI) request to DWP by Channel 4's Dispatches programme …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 May 2012
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News leech's fresh cash deal with rags 'reasonable' – tribunal

The fees that businesses will have to pay news aggregators of newspapers' online content for their services have been set after a Copyright Tribunal determined the terms were "reasonable". The Tribunal accepted licensing terms agreed upon by news monitoring service Meltwater and the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). Under the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 May 2012