Category Essential Law for Marketers

GDPR becomes law next week

Get Ready for GDPRThe Council of Ministers has just published its FINAL TEXT of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its statement for reasons for the biggest shake up in data protection and privacy for nearly two decades.

In an official communique, dated 4 April 2016, the General Secretariat of the Council said:

At its 3445th meeting on 12 February 2016, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council reached political agreement on the Council’s position at first reading on the (GDPR). After finalisation by the legal/linguistic experts, the text of the Council’s position at first reading (5419/16) will be available in all official languages of the European Union by the end of the day on 6 April 2016...

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Cowboy marketers face record fines in the New Year

Cowboy-marketersCurrent law

Under EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), organisations and companies are prohibited from transmitting or instigating the transmission of unsolicited electronic communications to consumers for the purposes of direct marketing unless the person receiving those communications has provided prior consent for the messages to be sent.

Companies also mustn’t disguise or conceal their identity in the messages or use invalid addresses where recipients of the messages would send responses to ask for the messages to stop being sent.

Marketers can send direct marketing via electronic mail to consumers if they have “obtained the contact details of the recipient of that electronic mail in the course of the sale or negotiations for the sale of a product or service t...

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Smoking products back on TV advertising in UK

LuckyStrikeDoctorLast week the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) announced relaxed regulations for advertising e-cigarettes through television broadcasting.

From November 2014, e-cig brand owners (these tend to be the big tobacco manufacturers) will be able to use TV advertising having previously been banned from doing so.

The introduction of the new rules has largely been welcomed with many finding previous rules unclear and inconsistent.

Ant-tobacco charity Ash declared it was satisfied with this move as such products are deemed to be nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) but the science on whether such strategies actually lead to a significant decrease in the number of smokers is still unclear...

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Companies face being caught with their pants down over forthcoming EU Regulation on data protection

pants downThere’s evidence that most major companies haven’t as yet appreciated the impact that this  European-wide Regulation will have on their business and could be caught out unless they take action sooner rather than later.

The aim of the new European Data Protection Regulation is to harmonise the current data protection laws in place across the EU member states. The fact that it is a “regulation” instead of a “directive” means it will be directly applicable to all EU member states without a need for national implementing legislation.

From the first half of 2015, all EU Governments will have two years from which to ensure that the EU General Data Protection Regulation is fully observed.

Regulators in each 28 EU Member State will be designated as a Supervisory Authority (SA) where the d...

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When bankers cry

croc tearsThe recent out of court deal between US authorities and the French bank BNP Paribas have raised eyebrows within the global banking community about whether the punishment for providing banking facilities to the totalitarian regime in Sudan is proportionate with the billions of US dollars that the bank must now pay out to settle the matter – equivalent to about a year’s profit.

Perhaps not one of its finest hours, the French bank has been forced to admit helping the Sudanese Government sell oil, clearing proceeds through New York in direct violation of US sanctions.

At that time, Sudanese Government-backed militias in the region of Darfur were massacring innocent civilians on an industrial scale; hardly the backdrop for providing banking facilities and making a handsome profit in the pro...

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What the PRCA and NLA can learn from Winston Churchill!

Winston ChurchillIt was Winston Churchill, one of the greatest statesmen that ever lived, who said “In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.”

Given the acrimonious legal battles that the PRCA has been having with the NLA and the subsequent decision at the Court of Justice of the European Union, I think it’s time for both sides to do well in remembering those words.

Let’s face it.

Both sides must build a new bridge – a better, more robust bridge – where the focus is on collaboration rather than conflict. And in my opinion it can be done as there’s a heap of goodwill on the PRCA side for this to happen – and repairing this broken relationship should start now.

The motivation for doing so is obvious.

The power of the media as a channel for connecting with des...

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PRCA achieves landmark ruling over legal right to browse material on the internet

Court-of-Justice-of-the-EC-in-LuxembourgThe Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg has affirmed the legal position that internet users have the right to browse news sites without the threat of infringing copyright law.

The argument, put forward by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) that represents the interests of media owners, was that even temporary electronic copies made on an individual’s computer required a licence and a licence fee to be paid and this could have cost the PR industry many millions in licensing fees had the ruling of CJEU clarified the legal position today.

The CJEU accepted all of the legal arguments of the PRCA, the largest professional body representing the interests of the PR industry in the UK and Meltwater, the news aggregation service.

The CJEU in its 12 page judgment agreed t...

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New distance selling regulations take effect on 13 June 2014

shopping onlineAll customer contracts for the supply of goods and services need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency as on the 13 June the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 comes into force.

These new Regulations replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling Regulations) 2000 and the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 (known as the Doorstep Selling Regulations).

The new Regulations implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive that brings together a number of disparate existing rules. Currently, European rules on consumer rights are contained in four separate EU directives covering unfair contracts, distance selling, doorstep selling and sales and guarantees, respectively.

As discussed in my latest book, Essential Law for Marketers, the problem with t...

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The word of the Lord is the copyright of the person who writes it down

jesus

In a landmark ruling, a German court has ruled Jesus Christ doesn’t hold copyright for works published in his name.

Frankfurt’s higher regional court held that the late American psychologist Helen Schucman, and not Jesus Christ, should be regarded the legal author of a book that Schucman claimed had been dictated to her by Jesus in a series of “waking dreams”.

Germany’s New Christian Endeavour Academy, a registered association, last year published extracts from A Course in Miracles, originally published in 1975, on its website. The association argued that Schucman had not considered herself the author of the work, and referred to a 2003 ruling by a New York court that it said had put the work into the public domain.

“For many there is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is t...

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X-rated legal action makes US history books

x-art-580In 2006, Colette Pelissier was selling houses in Southern California, and her boyfriend, Brigham Field, was working as a photographer of nude models.

Colette Pelissier wanted to leave the real-estate business, so she convinced her boyfriend to start making adult films. “I had this idea, when the real-estate market was cooling—you know, maybe we could make beautiful erotic movies,” she said.

By 2009 they had launched X-art.com and had started shooting adult films in places like Madrid and Prague as Malibu Media. The website promised its customers erotica featuring “gorgeous fashion models from the USA, Europe, South America and Beyond.” For $40 a month, subscribers had unlimited access to a growing collection of short films...

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