QuickLinks - Electronic commerce
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
- We Now Interrupt Your Browsing for This Commercial Message
(New York Times)
Like it or not, Web browsing is about to be interrupted by a few commercial messages. This goes against the strongly held conviction among Internet users that information and services should be free and encumbered by advertising only discreetly - if at all.
Issue no. 181 - 10 December 2000
- Australia: Internet gambling moratorium passed
Laws imposing a moratorium on new online gambling services passed the Senate after a split in Democrat ranks. Greens Senator Bob Brown forced the government to exempt bets on horse and dog racing, which will allow Victorian and Tasmanian TABs to take on-line bets, in line with interstate competitors.
- For Online Shoppers, There Are Pitfalls Abroad
(New York Times)
With the strong dollar giving American tourists more buying power abroad, it only seems logical to want to scour the world for similar bargains on the Internet.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
- Japan Passes Legislation to Boost E-Commerce
The Japanese parliament, or "Diet," passed overarching legislation aimed at bolstering the "Information Network Society" by bolstering education and Internet access and removing legislative obstacles to e-commerce growth. approved the sweeping bill.
- German Sex Firm Beate Uhse Eyes Web for Growth
Though lingerie and condoms continue to be strong sellers, the future for German sex empire Beate Uhse lies in the Internet.
- Stephen King puts "The Plant" on ice
Stephen King is pulling the plug on "The Plant." The best-selling author said on his Web site that he will temporarily suspend the serial novel. King posted the first installment of the novel on the Internet this summer as an experiment, saying he would continue the story if 75 percent of readers voluntarily paid for it. But less than half the readers were paying for the story.
Issue no. 179 - 26 November 2000
- Digital desert: Dubai bids to become tech oasis
Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has launched an intensive industrial campaign to become a center for e-commerce, software development and hardware in the Middle East.
Issue no. 178 - 19 November 2000
- Germany - Das Aus für das Rabattgesetz
Das fast 70 Jahre alte Rabattgesetz und die Zugabeverordnung werden ersatzlos abgeschafft. Durch die Streichung der Regelung sollen vor allem Wettbewerbsnachteile für deutsche Internet-Händler im elektronischen Geschäftsverkehr in Europa verhindert werden.
- Germany - Gericht erlaubt Internet-Mitfahrzentrale für Bahnfahrer
Das Frankfurter Landgericht hat die Klage der Deutschen Bahn gegen eine Internet-Mitfahrzentrale für Bahnfahrer zurückgewiesen. Das Angebot eines Internet-Anbieters, der über die Seite "Kartenfuchs.de" Bahnfahrer zu Reisegruppen zusammenführt, um so die von der Bahn günstiger angebotenen Gruppentarife zu erhalten, sei nicht wettbewerbswidrig.
- USA - Ruling favors tobacco companies
(New York Times)
A federal judge has ruled that a New York law effectively banning the direct sale of cigarettes to New Yorkers via the Internet is likely to be unconstitutional. see also Judge Freezes NY Ban On Net Cigarettes Sales (Newsbytes).
- Amazon.com Draws Fire on Secondhand Books
Amazon.com is running afoul of two of its core constituencies--the people who write as well as publish the books it sells. The two groups are upset that the online retailer is making it so easy for customers to buy and sell cheap secondhand copies of new books.
Issue no. 177 - 12 November 2000
Issue no. 176 - 5 November 2000
- NZ Bans Online Sale Of Medicines To Foreigners
New Zealand's Ministry of Health has pushed through a ban on the sale by New Zealand companies of prescription medicines to overseas consumers via the Internet.
- BBC may put ads on its internet service
The BBC, the UK's state-owned broadcaster, is considering putting commercial advertisements on its internet service, BBC Online, in what would be a controversial break with its ad-free culture.
Issue no. 175 - 29 October 2000
- E-Commerce Across Australia
Will Australia's regions be better off with greater use of e-commerce? E-commerce is expected to neutralise the tyranny of distance and place us all on a level footing in the global marketplace.
- Germany - Internet-Apotheke vor Gericht
Bisher konnten Medikamente günstig über das Internet bei einer niederländischen Apotheke bestellt werden. Der Deutsche Apothekerverband hat Bedenken und klagt auf Einstellung des Handels. siehe auch Verfahren um Internet-Apotheke eröffnet.
- USA - Long Odds For Software Law
Passage of a controversial bill that would give the industry almost absolute power in determining the terms of product sales is languishing in statehouses across the country. Now major software manufacturers and computerized information companies are mobilizing to push for the law, known as the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). see also Public forum on software warranties and refund policies (FTC) and CNET News.com.
- Dotcoms devoured
The accelerating shake-out among internet companies demonstrates the market's winner-takes-all logic.
- Public Broadcasting on Sale
(New York Times)
Public radio and television stations are starting to build online stores or expand their previously modest online shops. As they do, they are looking not only to generate revenue, but to remain relevant to their audiences in an age when viewers and listeners are awash in media choices.
- UK - Snarl-up fears for online delivery
The already overloaded Christmas postal services could be brought to a standstill by the internet. This Christmas is the first when e-commerce is expected to play a major role in buying and sending presents, and operators such as Amazon and eToys are gearing up for bumper sales. But industry experts believe that parcel-services are not equipped to handle the added volume.
- Technology Sent Wall Street Into Market for Pornography
(New York Times)
Spurred by changes in technology and court decisions that offer broad legal protection, the business of selling sexual desire through images has become a $10 billion annual industry in the United States, according to Forrester Research and the industry's own Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The financial rewards are so great that some of the biggest distributors of explicit sex on film and online include the country's most recognizable corporate names.
- The Middlemen of Content
(New York Times)
Web sites need a healthy mix of the three C's - content, commerce and community. Generating content, in particular, proved much harder than many Internet companies had expected. These problems have not been lost on online content syndicators, a new category of Internet businesses that act as intermediaries between sites that need content and sites that want to sell it.
Issue no. 174 - 21 October 2000
- Lex: German e-commerce
As if making shops close at 8pm on weekdays and from 4pm on Saturdays through to Monday mornings were not enough, Germany's antiquated retail regulations risk driving e-commerce groups out of the country. Two recent rulings highlight the regulations' eccentricity.
- France - Parfumsnet fait appel contre interdiction de vendre produits YSL Parfums
Parfumsnet, distributeur de parfums et cosmétiques sur Internet, a fait appel contre une décision de justice qui lui interdit de vendre les produits des sociétés Yves Saint Laurent Parfums et Parfums Van Cleefs et Arpels.
- USA - BSA To Press Need For Single Net Contract Law
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Digital Commerce Coalition will use a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) forum on e-commerce to highlight the need for states to adopt uniform laws for governing online contracts.
- USA - Company Challenges Law Banning Net Tobacco Sales
(New York Times)
In the latest of a flurry of lawsuits seeking to use the federal Constitution to trump state efforts to regulate controversial online services and products, a major tobacco company has challenged a recently-enacted New York law that effectively bans the sale of cigarettes to New York consumers via the Internet, mail-order or telephone. see also E-Tailers Fuming Over N.Y. Law (Wired).
- MP3.com Reaches Tentative Pact with Publishers
Online music company MP3.com Inc. will pay up to $30 million to music publishers in a preliminary pact that would give it the right to use more than one million songs as part of its Internet-based service.
- Series: The Wild Wild Web
Articles on boom and bust.
Issue no. 173 - 15 October 2000
- Australian Net Gambling Ban Defeated In Senate
A planned one-year ban on the issue of new Internet gambling licenses in Australia has been defeated in the Senate by a vote of 33 for and 33 against. While welcoming the failure of the bill, the industry remains fearful that the Coalition Federal Government may now try to impose a total ban on Internet companies operating in this area. see also Fresh bid on gaming moratorium (Australian IT).
- German Court Bans Online 'Power Shopping'
(IDG News Service)
A Cologne court says a site that encourages shoppers to band together violates fair-competition laws.
- USA - Nevada to permit sports gambling on the Web
Nevada residents will be able to gamble from their home computers under a deal that won approval from the state's Gaming Control Board. Virtgame.com, a company that offers an online gambling system, was given the official go-ahead to allow residents to wager online on football games, horse races and other sporting events.
- BMG to sell music over web
BMG Entertainment will begin selling music for download over the internet, starting with 100 albums and singles and expanding to over 2,500 titles by the holiday season. The downloads will cost between $1.98 and $3.49 for singles and up to $20.98 for double editions. The prices are roughly in line with those charged for actual CDs, a strategy that drew criticism from analysts and internet music aficionados.
- Britain takes online business lead
Britain has been holding its own in the world of e-commerce, according to a new government report. A study of the nation's online activity showed that 27% of the UK's businesses were now using the internet. Also see DTI claims top spot in Euro ebusiness charts (Silicon).
- Survey: e-Entertainment
The digital revolution in entertainment was expected to sweep all before it. But so far it has proved somewhere between a disappointment and a disaster.
Issue no. 172 - 8 October 2000
- EP votes on jurisdiction and judgments regulation
The European Parliament adopted an amendment to the Commission's original clause on jurisdiction that would restrict the right of consumers to sue foreign suppliers of goods or providers of services in their jurisdiction to 'active' Internet sites, i.e. sites which target the consumer's Member State. Further amendments call for the extensive use of extra-judicial dispute resolution. Report of Committee on Legal Affairs (A5-0253/2000)
Issue no. 171 - 1 October 2000
- USA - Net Gambling Ban Not Dead Yet
If you like to gamble online, your luck may be about to change for the worse. House Republicans are in the middle of closed-door negotiations over a bill that appears likely to restrict Americans from using credit cards at online casinos.
Issue no. 170 - 24 September 2000
- Crime Photos Change eBay Policy
An attempt to sell an autopsy picture and crime scene photographs of three slain boys has prompted the Internet auction site eBay to change its policy on graphic photos.
- EU stärkt Rechte des Kunden beim E-Commerce
Das Europäische Parlament hat in zweiter Lesung eine Vorlage der EU-Kommission gebilligt, nach der Kunden bei Rechtsstreitigkeiten mit ausländischen Händlern generell im eigenen Land klagen können. Ein Änderungsvorschlag des Rechtsausschusses hatte vorgesehen, dass Händler durch einen Zusatz in den Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen, dem der Kunde explizit zustimmen sollte, sich vor Gerichtsverfahren im Ausland schützen können. Das Parlament hatte dies abgelehnt.
- TAG releases e-comm payments paper
The OECD Technical Advisory Group has released a revised document on the treaty characterization of e-commerce payments. It assesses how the payments should be treated for tax treaty purposes. The deadline for comment is 13 October 2000.
Issue no. 169 - 16 September 2000
- Bertelsmann sets sights on e-commerce leadership
Europe's biggest media company Bertelsmann AG set its sights firmly on becoming a world leader in e-commerce as it announced its expansion war chest now held 30 billion marks ($13.3 billion).
Issue no. 168 - 9 September 2000
- E-Commerce Patent War Looms
A small Virginia company on the verge of snaring a patent for computerizing international trade has begun warning other firms that it may soon demand licensing fees for a range of cross-border e-commerce transactions.
- EU - Regulators clash over online protection rules
European ecommerce regulators are set to clash over consumer protection rules for ecommerce. The European Council wants to make firms selling over the web beholden to the consumer laws of the buyers' country. However, the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee decided by one vote to change this jurisdiction, so a company can only be sued under the laws of its registered country. see Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters COM(99) 348.
Issue no. 167 - 6 August 2000
- Leading Web Site Host Sued
Register.com, which registers new Internet addresses for a fee, has sued Verio, the world's largest Web site hosting company, for allegedly making unsolicited calls to Register.com's customers.
- USA - Texas Judge Bans Ford From Selling Cars on Web
A U.S. district judge says that Ford Motor Co. cannot sell vehicles over the Internet in Texas and that state regulators did not violate Ford's constitutional rights when they cracked down on the company's use of a Web site to sell used cars.
Issue no. 166 - 30 July 2000
- Group Seeks to Soften Impact of Chinese Web Rules
Thirty-six companies, including America Online, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors and Microsoft, have formed a consortium that is navigating Beijing's labyrinthine bureaucracy and advising it on the impact of potential rules, from web taxation to advertisement restrictions.
Issue no. 165 - 22 July 2000
- 'Click 2 split' service attacked
An Edinburgh based company is under fire for offering free-of-charge divorce services over the internet.
- WTO director slams 'dangerous' e-commerce ideas
(Total Telecom - registration required)
The director of the World Trade Organisation's services division has made a outspoken attack on suggestions that global business regulations should regard e-commerce as a "hybrid" activity, somewhere between the provision of goods and services.
- EU - E-commerce directive published
(Official Journal of the European Communities)
Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market ("Directive on electronic commerce") OJ L 178 17 July 2000 p.1
Index page see also Digital signatures | Statistics | Taxation
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