Website Contracts Lawyers
Website Contracts Lawyers discuss web content feed agreements and affiliate agreements
1. The seminal law is the:
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).Particularly, the safe harbour provisions under Articles 12, 13, 14 and 15.
The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 implemented the Ecommerce directive into UK law on the 21st August 2002.
The Ecommerce Directive was incorporated into German law at Federal level by the Electronic Commerce Act (EGG – Elektronischer Geschaftsverkehrgesetz), which in turn modified the Telesevices Act (Teledienstegesetz – TDG) at the level of German federal States (Bundeslander) by the Interstate Agreement on Media Services )Mediendiendtestaatsvertrag – MDstV). The two laws have now been put together into the Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz – TMG.
The directive has to be reviewed every 2 years. The latest review of the directive was in 2010.
2. There is the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 in the UK.
3. There are the general principles affecting online contracts. Are you intending to create legal relations through your feed or affiliate?
4. The Internet Advertising’s Bureau’s Feed Guideline to be released by the IAB Affiliate Council in October 2010.
I should point out that the IABs’ Guidelines are not legislation. They are voluntary self-regulating rules members have subjected themselves to. They are binding by way of contract. Compliance with the guidelines does not mean immunity from liability.
Generally your liability as an affiliate or for content feeds will be subject to various factors as follows:
a) your knowledge in setting up the feed;
b) the circumstances indicating that the website serves unlawful purposes; and
c) your opportunities to have notice of the illegality of the feed content.
If for example you create a content feed to software that cracks copyright protection you will be found liable in German courts. Courts in Europe have shown that they will interpret the definition of information society service strictly. I refer you to the European Court of Justice preliminary opinion of Advocate General Poiares Maduro in the joined cases of:
Google France v. Louis Vuitton Malletier, Google France v. Vaiticum Luteciel and Google France v. CNRRH (joined cases C-236/08, C-237/08 and C-238/08)(28 September 2009)(the ‘Google France cases’).
Affiliates have economic benefit from the information that they assist in transmitting. Powerful Intellectual property rights owners are concerned about infringement of their IPR as well as the effect an exclusion of liability for intermediaries will have on policing illegal activity.
Website Contracts Lawyers – Action
a) Remember that as an intermediary you may still be held accountable
b) Make sure you are insured
c) Check your terms and conditions
d) Thoroughly check the content of your feeds