Thursday, 5 June 2014

ECJ: Public Relations Consultants Association Ltd (PRCA) v The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited and Others (NLA)

This decision has the effect that everyday users of the internet will not infringe copyright through browsing websites. Consequently, the internet will not be brought to its knees (at least in a legal sense) as some commentators feared and from the point of view of the reasonable expectations of internet users, this is a sensible decision. Importantly, it should be noted that this decision applies only to browsing.  It does not legitimise printing out or downloading the content of websites without the permission of copyright owners. Nor does it affect the recent CJEU decision in Svensson on linking.

UK remote gambling point of consumption regime – a solution looking for its Gibraltar problem?

Ramparts: "It is established European law that Member States cannot restrict cross-border services within the European Union unless objectively justified for public policy reasons, and even then any restrictions must be proportionate to those objectives. The UK Government claims that the new legislation is necessary to improve the protection of UK customers and the UK regulator claims it is necessary that they directly regulate any UK facing operators. However, little evidence of consumer detriment or regulatory risk has been adduced under the current UK regime. In addition, lack of consideration of suitable enforcement measures heightens concerns about the risks inherent in the proposed POC Regime.
[Update September 2013]:It is interesting to note that the UK Government is strongly opposed to the proposed Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) -  (see e.g. "Blow to the FTT vindicates Treasury"). The UK may have difficulty on the one hand advocating going it alone for a POCT for online gaming but then claiming it may bring a legal challenge for any financial services tax brought in by other Member States if they are not agreed at EU level. EU tax law makes no such distinction between the two sectors and there is a real danger that with a POCT the UK is opening up the imposition of extra-territorial taxes by other European countries against the hugely important UK e-commerce and financial services businesses (and potentially undermining its position in any political or legal challenge against FTT).
A recent legal opinion from the Legal Service of the European Council stated that as currently specified the FTT, "exceeds Member States' jurisdiction for taxation under the norms of international customary law", is incompatible with EU law as it "infringes upon the taxing competences of non-participating Member States" and is “discriminatory and likely to lead to distortion”." 'via Blog this'