Internet Law

The Digital ID Bill 2023 (Cth)

On 30 November 2023, the Digital ID Bill 2023 (Cth) and the Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2023 (Digital ID Bills) were introduced in the Australian Senate.  Digital IDs are designed to provide individuals with a convenient way to verify their identity when completing certain online transactions and dealing with government and certain businesses.  This acts as an alternative to repeatedly providing details or copies of personal and sensitive identification documents with third parties that may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. [Read more…]

IP Australia guidelines for trademark classification

There has been a surge in trademark applications in the digital space, notably concerning virtual goods, virtual environments such as the metaverse, NFTs, and the blockchain according to observations made by IP Australia.  This article discusses the things to consider when selecting the classification(s) for virtual goods and services when filing an application for registration of a trademark. [Read more…]

Misinformation and Disinformation Bill 2023 – exposure draft

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023 (Cth) (Misinformation Bill) was announced by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts (DITRDCA) in January 2023.  The Misinformation Bill is aimed at restricting the flow of misinformation and disinformation by providing the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with increased power to hold digital platforms accountable for allowing the dissemination of allegedly misleading information. [Read more…]

National classification scheme – proposed federal reforms

On 29 March 2023, the Albanese Government announced its intention to reform the National Classification Scheme (Scheme).  While computer and online games often seem harmless and fun, the proposed reforms are aimed to address concerns that computer and online games simulating gambling-like content are not effectively regulated. [Read more…]

What are the ACCC’s 2023/2024 enforcement priorities?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) enforcement priorities for 2023/2024 include environmental and sustainability claims, scam detection and disruption, consumer law issues in the digital economy, unfair contract terms, essential services, energy and telecommunications and wholesale gas markets.

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Software developer obtains Court orders to obtain IP address info

Justice Burley of the Federal Court of Australia in the case of Siemens Industry Software Inc v Telstra Corporation Limited [2020] FCA 901 ordered that Telstra, within fourteen (14) days, provide to Siemens all documents in its control relating to the identity of certain Telstra Account holders.  Those account holders were suspected by Siemens of having infringed the intellectual property rights in certain software owned by them.  This order was made so that Siemens could to ascertain the identity of potential infringers of its copyright that they had become aware of because of “beacons or canary tokens” in its software.  The beacons or canary tokens reported the IP Addresses of those that installed pirated copies of their software to Siemens and provided a range of other information about the potential infringer. [Read more…]

Australian legislation addresses loot boxes in video games

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Loot Boxes) Bill 2022 (Bill)  has been tabled in the House of Representatives on the 28 November 2022.  The private member’s Bill acts in response to growing support for the regulation of features and elements within video games which appear to simulate gambling. [Read more…]

Digital Games Tax Offset proposed by Albanese

The Australian Government has announced its plans to enact the country’s first ever federal, “refundable tax offset” for the development of video games.  On 28 October 2022, the Albanese Labor Government announced its support for the digital games industry by proposing new legislation to develop a Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) in the near future.

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Can a contractor owe fiduciary duties to a principal?

A fiduciary duty describes a relationship of utmost faith between two (1) or more people or entities.  It is established law that, generally, an employee owes a fiduciary duty to their employer.[1]  Whether such a duty is owed in the case of a contractor or consultant undertaking work for a corporation pursuant to a contract  is a separate question.

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Implied terms in software contracts – part 2

A contract relating to software may have both express and implied terms that may be in writing or be oral or a combination of both.   Express terms are those which the parties have articulated before concluding a contract.  In contrast, implied terms are those which are unlikely to be reduced to writing, but a Court may be asked to imply into the contract to give it business efficacy. [Read more…]

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