Alasdair Taylor's blog

The effects of the new cookies laws

On 26 May 2011, the rules about the use of cookies and similar technologies were changed. The change was prompted by amendments to the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive. Although several weeks have passed since the change, few websites comply with the new law, and confusing guidance from the UK and EU data protection authorities has left website owners scratching their heads.

Offer and acceptance online

There are three fundamental requirements for the formation of a legally enforceable contract, and they are as applicable online as offline. First, the contracting parties must agree on the terms of the contract, through the issue and acceptance of a contractual offer. Second, they must intend to create a legally binding agreement. Third, the contract must be supported by consideration: an exchange of value.

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999: an introduction

English law can be unfair. In 1962, Peter Beswick agreed to hand over his business to his nephew, John. In exchange, John contracted to pay a sum of money to Peter each week and, after his death, to Peter's widow. After Peter died, John decided not to pay. He almost succeeded. Peter's widow could not sue under the contract herself as she was not a party to it — but she was administering Peter's estate, and was able to enforce it on his behalf.

When and how to use an NDA

Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) impose obligations to refrain from disclosing information, take measures to protect the confidentiality of information and/or use information only for a specified purpose or purposes. In this post, I look at the issues surrounding the use of NDAs in the IT industry, and consider some of the the typical situations in which they may be used.

10 ways to become a cyber-criminal

The great thing about cyber-crimes is that they're so easy to commit. With a computer and an internet connection, you can commit all manner of crimes from the privacy of your bedroom. You don't need shot-guns, bolt-cutters, getaway cars or gangs of desperados. If you follow the instructions in this post, you can be a master cyber-criminal in no time at all.

Copyright – how long does it last?

The law of copyright protects creative output. It is a property right which prevents copying and arises automatically even ‘before the ink is dry on the paper’. In an age of unlimited electronic access to information and imagery of every kind, the danger of infringing someone’s copyright is ever-present. However, the law on copyright only protects material for a limited amount of time. The question is: how long?

How to register a UK trade mark without a lawyer

It is sometimes thought that a solicitor or trade mark attorney must be instructed to register a trade mark. While this is a misconception, anyone thinking of applying to register a mark without a lawyer would do well to study the legal and procedural issues, as there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.