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1.Court of Appeal decision on Tamiz v Google defamation case on 14 February 2013

‘The allegedly defamatory comments were posted between 28 and 30 April, soon after the initial blog of 27 April. By the very nature of a blog, they will have been followed by numerous other comments in the chain and, whilst still accessible, will have receded into history. As I have indicated, the earliest point at which Google Inc could have become liable in respect of the comments would be some time after notification of the complaint in respect of them. But it is highly improbable that any significant number of readers will have accessed the comments after that time and prior to removal of the entire blog. It follows, as the judge clearly had in mind, that any damage to the appellant’s reputation arising out of continued publication of the comments during that period will have been trivial; and in those circumstances the judge was right to consider that “the game would not be worth the candle”. I do not accept Mr Busuttil’s submission that various other features of the claim, including the fact that the appellant’s name is relatively uncommon and distinctive in this jurisdiction, undermined the judge’s conclusion.’

More information is available at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/68.html.

2. Cracking the Electronic Communications Code (UK)

‘On 28 February 2013 the Law Commission is recommending reforms that will bring the Electronic Communications Code (1984) up to date with modern technology while continuing to balance the rights of landowners and the public demand for modern communications services. The Code governs the legal relationship between network providers and landowners.’

The Commission’s report is available on http://www.lawcom.gov.uk.

More information is available at http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/.

3. Commission fines Microsoft for non-compliance with browser choice commitments

‘In March 2013 the European Commission has imposed a €561 million fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft until 2014 (see IP/09/1941). In today’s decision, the Commission finds that Microsoft failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. 15 million Windows users in the EU therefore did not see the choice screen during this period. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that time.’

More information is available at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-196_en.htm.

4. The New Legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution in the EU

‘On 12 March 2013, the European Parliament voted to support the new legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR).’

More information is available at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/redress_cons/adr_policy_work_en.htm.

5. The Submission for the Amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill in the UK

More information is available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2012-2013/0090/2013090.8-14.html.

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