Content: kinds of illegality

The publication of website content – whether textual, audio, video, or other content – can be unlawful in two main ways. It can breach the criminal law; and it can give rise to civil liability.Breaches of the criminal law may result in prosecution, and a successful prosecution may lead to a fine or even imprisonment.

Buying a disputed domain name: price

Many domain name disputes settle by agreement: the domain name registrant agrees to transfer the domain name to the person making the complaint, often in exchange for payment. I am sometimes asked what price should be paid.

International transfers of personal data

Website operators commonly transfer the personal data of their users overseas. However, the UK's Data Protection Act 1998 expressly restricts certain transfers of personal data outside the European Economic Area : “Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data”.

Dealing with defamatory posts on your website forum or blog

One of the many legal risks facing you as a web publisher comes from the law of libel: as publisher, you may be liable not only for your own writings, but also for the defamatory comments that users make on your website.

Dealing with website content theft

Website content theft is a common problem. Quality content can take a lot of time and effort (or money) to create – and it can be stolen in seconds by a child with a computer and a internet connection. Legal proceedings are the ultimate weapon, the nuclear option, in your armoury against website content theft. But before issuing proceedings, you should consider in detail the other options open to you.

Database right: how it may protect your website

Database right is similar to copyright, but distinct. Both database right and copyright may subsist in a single database quite independently. In this post I look specifically at the protection afforded to websites by database right.

A very brief introduction to data protection

The centrepiece of UK data protection law is the Data Protection Act 1998, enacted pursuant to a European Directive. This post outlines some of the basic concepts of data protection law from the Act.

Terms of use FAQ

This brief FAQ contains answers to some of questions I get asked on a daily basis relating to website terms and conditions. Questions covered include: what's the difference between the different types of terms and conditions? What's the point in having terms and conditions in the first place? Will good legal documents protection me from lawsuits?

Domain name transfers after UDRP complaint notification

One of the oddities of ICANN's Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution is that they require the complainant to affirm, in the complaint, that a copy of the complaint has been sent to the domain name holder (Rule 3(b)(xii)). In theory, this requirement could give a fast-moving domain name holder the chance to transfer the domain to another person before the proceedings formally begin (from which point such “cyberflying” transfers are forbidden under Rule 8(a)).

Joint ownership of copyright

Clients usually think that joint ownership of copyright is a good thing; lawyers (in the UK at least) usually think that it is a bad thing.


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Unless otherwise stated, the information and resources on this website relate to English law.

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