Digital law

Hosting your website in the EU

There are boundaries when it comes to linking. These boundaries have now been officially confirmed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in its judgement on the September 8th, 2016. Website operators that place hyperlinks with commercial intent are obliged to check the legality of the online content that is being linked to. According to the ECJ, private internet users aren’t expected to check, which means that links without financial intent are allowed – unless copyright owners have explicitly pointed out that linking to their content is forbidden. [...]  

Copyright law in e-commerce

Legal disputes don’t necessarily have to be settled in court. In many cases, copyright law-related issues can be resolved outside of court using a cease-and-desist letter. In this guide, we provide an overview of what you should include in an official warning as well as a guide to responding to legal warnings. [...]  

EU-US Privacy Shield: What the replacement for Safe Harbor means for us

What is the Privacy Shield? The Safe Harbor Agreement’s successor raises questions for many stakeholders in the EU. Even if clear rules for data storage have been assured, there are still countless exceptions. However, the provisions for data storage are particularly important for online companies. This text provides an overview of the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which aims to establish legal frameworks for data transfer between the EU and U.S. [...]  

Deleting personal data with Google

The internet never forgets – is it always true? In some cases, search engines are obliged to grant users permission to delete defamatory search results. If Google displays personal data that is outdated or of no interest to the public, users can request the search engine to delete links to that data from the results pages permanently. But what exactly is the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ act, and when and where does it apply? [...]  

Design patents: protecting your design idea

Ever wondered why no products ever have the same shape and ornamentation, even when it comes to everyday items like toilet paper or bottles of beer? The answer lies in design patents. They may be less common than traditional utility patents, copyrights, or trademarks, but design patent applications have led to many high-profile court cases in recent years. But what exactly are design patents, how much do they cost, and how does the USPTO issue them? Our guide will take you through the process of obtaining a design patent to secure protection for your idea. [...]  

Sale contract negotiation: The laws of e-commerce

Most people don’t spend much time reading into laws and paragraphs of legal jargon. But for online business it is extremely important to know your rights and obligations, both as a merchant and as a customer. Even for simple matters such as an online sale contract, there are some regulations which differ from physical retail. The law has laid out some important duties for online merchants that are intended to protect the customer – transparency and disclosure of information are a must in e-commerce. [...]  

Steps to Verified Trademark Registration

Any member of the economy has the right to apply for trademark registration for products or services that they use in the course of their trade. Whether these rights are granted depends on an evaluation by the federal authorities and the application’s compliance with legal requirements. This article shows how this process unfolds in the context of trademark registration, the registration costs associated with application, and the protection given to certified registrations. [...]  

Creative Commons made easy

Whether it’s music, photos, or graphics: an engaging website is full of visual elements and multimedia content. But not every website operator has the means to fill their site with their own professional images or music. A good alternative here are works published under a Creative Commons license – they’re free to use and some can even be used commercially. [...]  

EU cookie laws and how they affect your business

Online cookies used to track behavior online are commonplace in the modern internet world, serving many functions, from storing login information to telling websites which pages you visit. In 2011, EU member states implemented their respective cookie policies, dictated by amendments made in 2009 to the EU directive for privacy and data protection online. But what do these rules mean for UK businesses? And do they affect US website operators? [...]  

Impressums for Facebook pages

When operating a business from an English-speaking country, it’s easy to overlook the finer details of legal requirements overseas. However, if your business also has a base in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, you will more than likely be required to provide an impressum on your online presences. Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action, which could have serious consequences for the future of your company. But don’t panic! Creating a legally valid impressum could be easier than you think, especially with the help of the new impressum section for Facebook pages, which enables users to add the required information quickly and easily. [...]