ContractAlert - 27 March 2012

Welcome to the March 2012 edition of ContractAlert.

Legal developments

Google escapes liability as publisher ...

The UK High Court has ruled that Google is not, for the purposes of libel law, the publisher of user content posted using Blogger.  The fact that Google has the technical capability to remove such content does not in itself make it the publisher of that content.  If you're preparing terms and conditions for a website or web application, you should consider the ways in which the operator may escape liability for defamatory material posted by users.

... but The Pirate Bay is liable for copyright infringement

By contrast, the High Court considers that The Pirate Bay is liable for copyright infringement: "the operators of [The Pirate Bay] induce, incite or persuade its users to commit infringements of copyright, and that they and the users act pursuant to a common design to infringe".  Any service designed or used primarily for an illegitimate purpose will be unlikely to benefit from the various defences available to Google et al.

Tripped adviser

TripAdvisor has been tripped up by the ASA, which found that claims that reviews on the TripAdvisor website were "honest" and the opinions of "real travellers" could not be substantiated, as the site includes no effective verification procedures.  The case is a useful reminder for website operators to keep their website marketing claims accurate.

No monitoring obligations for ISPs

The European Court of Justice has ruled that national courts within the EU do not have the power to required ISPs to monitor data stored on and transmitted through their systems.  

Bonfire of the regulations?

The government has launched a consultation proposing the removal of a range of health and safety regulations, not the least among which are the Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987 and the Children's Clothing (Hood Cords) Regulations 1976.

Cookies reminder

The Information Commissioner plans to begin enforcing the new cookies laws in May.  Make sure your privacy/cookies policies and cookie consent procedures are up-to-scratch.  

A new home for SEQ Legal

SEQ Legal has too many websites, so we've launched a new website.

Over the next 18 months or so, the site will take over the functions of all of our existing sites: selling and supplying legal templates, distributing legal news and analysis, helping businesses find lawyers and providing access to law-related software tools.  The new site also has a special Q&A feature, where you can get free legal guidance on issues that affect your business.  You can visit the site here:

Updates to templates

There have been no updates to our existing templates since December.