E-commerce regulation in the European Union

Jean Monnet Short Course

Wednesday 27 November 2019, 10:00, Room W416

The legal regulation of e-commerce in the European Union is moving to its third wave. The first wave was the development of principles of secondary liability for internet intermediaries for Intellectual Property rights infringements committed by end-users. The second was the establishment of safe harbour provisions for certain broad categories of e-commerce intermediaries. The third wave is still at its early stage and is characterized by the introduction of different standards of liability for ‘large’ e-commerce intermediaries, relying partly on the use of algorithms and smart technologies.  The Information Technology Act of India, Article 17 of Digital Single Market Directive of EU, and E-commerce law of China are all part of this move and the respective approaches they have adopted are all different.

The third wave of development responds to the challenge brought by technology and business model innovation including the influence from the trend of algorithmic regulation, the change of the status of the “dominant” intermediaries in terms of their market power and financial resources possessed and the stronger lobby influence of IP rights holders. In this connection, the above mentioned legislation, in particular Article 17 of the DSM Directive, has been subject to extensive socio-political debate and jurisprudential scrutiny in terms of consistency with existing legal frameworks.

However, the debate has not yet benefited from the engagement with traditional jurisprudential models, which Andrew Murray has advocated for the law-making in digital world. In particular, Lon Fuller’s principles of internal morality have been applied in evaluating the law making in cyber world.

To enrich the debate on the new wave of legislation of internet intermediaries liability, this short course revisits e-commerce regulation’s principles and apply them in the current business context.

10:00 – 13:00 – Principles of e-commerce regulation

  • Secondary laibility for internet intermediaries
  • Exemptions from liability in the EU e-commerce Directive
  • The interface between liability rules and consumer protection
  • Remedies and penalties

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch break

 14:00 – 16:00 – Forthcoming legislation in the EU

  • Redefining the liability for large internet platforms: Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive
  • Reforming the e-commerce Directive? An ovrview of current proposals
  • The future of UK e-commerce in light of Brexit

The lecturers

Lingling Wei (LLM, PhD) is Senior Lecturer in Business Law at Bournemouth University, specializing in trade mark law and e-commerce transactions.

Maurizio Borghi is Professor of Law at Bournemouth University and the Director of CIPPM / Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for European Intellectual Property and Information Rights.

Venue and accommodation

The Executive Business Centre is located in Bournemouth, at 5 minutes walk from the train and bus station. When leaving the station, head to “Town Centre” and “Seafront”. You will see the building on your right (directions here).

Trains from London leave at every hour (.05) and half-past hour (.35) from Waterloo Station, and take about 2 hours (direction: Weymouth or Poole). (See train times and tickets here or here).

If you arrive by car, please ask the organizers to book a parking space for you at the Executive Business Centre. However, please note that parking space is limited.

The lovely seaside resort of Bournemouth offers a broad variety of accommodation. The following are in close range from the Executive Business Centre:

The Miramar Hotel

The Green House Hotel

Ramada Encore Hotel

Best Western Hotel Royale

How to apply

The course is free to attend but spaces are limited and registration is required. Please apply via Eventbrite by clicking here: