The e-commerce directive and ecommerce laws
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15 January 2012
The ecommerce directive. Its articles. Not
the Wild West.
The Internet is not the Wild West contrary to what many people think.
It is in fact heavily regulated. This is due in the main because the
existing laws relating to say for example the sale of goods will apply
to sales over the internet as well as the possibility of two countries
laws being applicable to a particular contract.
Legislators were concerned. As a consequence a significant amount of
legislation was introduced on a pan European basis which sought to
provide a framework and safety net for ecommerce.
The E-Commerce Directive
The granddaddy of this new frontier is the Council Directive
(EC) 2000/31 ('the E-Commerce Directive') which
aimed to ensure that both B2B and B2C that provide and receive goods or
services for payment and at a distance would have to adhere to the
The most important articles are as follows:-
Article 3- Where the business is placed-Establishment.
An establishment is one where the establishment is pursues its economic
activity, irrespective of the location of the server, website or
Article 5- What a website needs to provide- Information.
All businesses that provide Internet services must provide in
their terms detailed information about the business including their
name, geographic address, contact details and any trade registration or
business authorisation information.
Articles 9-11-How to form a contract.
Putting it simply these articles ensure that contracts can be
concluded electronically and insists that member states remove all
restrictions on contracts being formed online.
Articles 12-14 - Who shall be liable?
May website operators simply provide content or act
as conduits or intermediaries for service providers. As there is no
immediate requirement for a service provider to monitor the contents of
website they shall not be liable. However, this does not let the third
party off the hook. If once the service provider is informed of the
harmful or libellous material then it must act.
The E-Commerce Directive was implemented in the United Kingdom by the
Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.
Michael Coyle is a Solicitor Advocate and can be contacted at
email@example.com. Lawdit Solicitors is a commercial law firm
based in Southampton.
About the Author
Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation,
commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We
are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual
Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of
Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the
largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-02-09 12:53:19 in Legal Articles