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News / 19.10.2021

You have probably heard the terms "blockchain", "distributed ledger technology", "bitcoin" and "NFTS" being thrown around a lot recently.  But what do these terms mean, why are they important, and what advantages does this technology actually have? The purpose of this article is to introduce you to these concepts and technology, to explain what they are, and how they fit in the blockchain landscape. Key terms Before we dive in, it is first important to understand some of the key terms relevant to this type of technology: Distributed Ledger: At a high level, a distributed ledger is a database, e.g. a digital...

News / 14.09.2021

CONTENT WARNING: Please take care.  This article discusses child sexual abuse material. Before proceeding, it is recommended that you strongly consider whether this article is appropriate for you.   You may not be aware, but the link between encryption technologies and the proliferation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online is increasingly well established. The estimated volume of CSAM, and the number of related reports are growing exponentially.  In 2019, 69.1 million different images were reported to US companies alone. Facebook generated more than 90% of these reports. Research from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children highlights the extreme growth in the number of...

News / 10.08.2021

You are probably wondering what Paris Hilton, Edward Snowden and Eminem have in common.  Well, they have all released NFTs.  The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is booming right now and is only likely to continue to grow over time as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology become more accessible. In light of NFTs' exponential growth in popularity, it is essential to understand the legal risks associated with NFTs if you're interested in purchasing NFTs yourself or needing to advise a client. What are NFTs? An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger that certifies a digital or physical asset as...

News / 27.07.2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives and that includes domain name arbitration. Without seeking to undermine the seriousness of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people, this post outlines a few of the ways domain name arbitration has been impacted in the face of the global pandemic. COVID-19 pandemic-related delays The COVID-19 pandemic has arisen as a reason for delays within UDRP proceedings, such as for late filing. Under UDRP Rule 10, Panels have the discretion to make decisions to ensure fairness between the parties - which may include allowing flexibility and time extensions in the case of...

News / 08.07.2021

This article was originally published on 19 June 2021 at domaintimes.info under the title 'A UDRP Panel or Court Proceedings?' The case of dmarcian, Inc. v. Martijn Groeneweg / dmarcian Europe BV (Claim Number: FA2102001933397) provides a very helpful example of the overlap between arbitration and the courts. While the decision is not unique, it nonetheless offers a good example of where Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) panellists may dismiss a case because it is really a commercial dispute, i.e. one that is better for the courts to determine. The UDRP arbitration process is designed to have a limited scope in order to reduce time,...

News / 02.07.2021

This article was originally published on 5 August 2020 at domaintimes.info under the title 'Everything you need to know about Reverse Domain Name Hijacking'. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) occurs when a trademark holder uses the international Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) to bully or harass the registrant of a domain name into transferring it. The hijacker usually has little to no legal basis for their claim, or provides weak evidence. Under Paragraph 15(e) of the UDRP Rules, the Panel has the discretion to declare a complaint to be an abuse of the proceeding “if after considering the submissions the Panel finds that the...

News / 28.01.2021

  I INTRODUCTION   The Australian government has recently introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020 (Bill). The Bill establishes a mandatory code of conduct (Code) to counteract the bargaining power imbalance apparent between digital platform corporations and Australian news businesses and corporations. The Bill is the result of the government’s further steps in response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platform Inquiry in July 2019 (which highlighted power imbalance concerns)[1] and is meant ‘to support the sustainability of the Australian News sector.’[2] Key parts of the Code How the Code attempts to create a...

News / 14.07.2020

Mandatory social distancing and working from home requirements introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic has posed a challenge to business operations and driven adoption of technology to empower a remote workforce at an unprecedented scale. Electronic transactions are no exception to this. In Australia the government has taken steps to provide certainty to Australian companies looking to execute and exchange documents electronically. While electronic transactions are nothing new in Australia, the law has not always kept up with business practice.  Since 1999 Australia has had the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth) (Electronic Transactions Act) (each state and territory also has its...

News / 15.05.2020

Unprecedented Times Require Extraordinary Solutions Covid-19 is the most significant and unprecedented event of our times. The strict social distancing measures that were rolled out starting in early March have helped flatten the curve, thus avoiding the possibility of mass infection rates in Australia similar to what occurred in other parts of the world such as Europe and the US. However, it was evident early on that these measures and the pandemic in general would have drastic consequences for the economy. In the June quarter the GDP is forecast to fall by more than 10% while the unemployment rate is predicted...

News / 17.04.2020

A New App to Track a Virus? The Australian Federal Government recently announced its plans to launch a phone app which would enable it to track the spread of COVID-19 by collecting user metadata. Likely, the app would be similar to that currently be used by the government in Singapore. Singapore’s app, TraceTogether, records ‘digital handshakes’ between devices, tracking individuals who have had the virus and those they may have come into contact with it. This ideally allows the Health Authorities to get ahead of further spread of the virus. However, the app in Singapore is still in some stages of infancy,...