De Miguel on Derecho Privado de Internet (4th edn)


The fourth edition of Derecho privado de internet, by Professor Pedro de Miguel (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) has just been published. Eight years have elapsed since the previous edition, so I would rather say this is a new book in line with the rapid evolution of Internet services, regulatory developments related to it, and caselaw.

The First Chapter examines the legal architecture of the Internet, the role of ICANN and the organizations that develop technical standards as well as the main regulatory challenges raised by Internet activities. Chapter Two focuses on the legal aspects of information society services, including the implications of technological and media convergence and delimitation with electronic communications services and audiovisual services. This chapter contains a detailed analysis of information and other requirements applicable to information society service providers. Issues concerning liability arising out of illicit activities or contents and liability of intermediary service providers receive also special attention. Chapter Three offers a complete study of data protection issues, including an in-depth discussion of the legal treatment of data processing with regard to web pages, social networks, search engines and advertising services. Unfair practices and commercial communications are the subject-matter of Chapter Four. Advertising, spam and special restrictions affecting trade in certain products or services, like gambling and medicines, are among the topics covered. Chapter Five is devoted to industrial property rights. After discussing the role of patents and know-how in the protection of software and Internet business models, this part incorporates a complete analysis of domain name and trademark law, covering issues such as UDRP, use of trademarks as advertising keywords and metatags, and special treatment of certain activities such as auction sites. Chapter Six deals with copyright and related rights. Among the most innovative aspects of the new edition in this area, reference can be made to the in-depth treatment of intellectual property implications of the services related to the so-called Web 2.0 including a critical assessment of creative commons licences. This part incorporates also an analysis of copyright limitations in the context of the most relevant activities and services, such as the functioning of search engines. The responses to the challenges raised by p2p file-sharing are also considered with a critical analysis of the legal measures adopted in several EU countries, including Spain, France and UK. Other issues such as open access to academic works and the legal implications of the Google Book Search Project receive particular attention. Enforcement mechanisms and liability of intermediaries play also a prominent role. The last Chapter is devoted to electronic contracts. After discussing contract formation, information requirements, recourse to standards terms, requirements related to the performance of obligations, and protection of consumers,  Chapter Seven focuses on payment services and electronic money. Electronic signatures and the assessment of their contribution to the development of e-commerce  are also the subject of detailed analysis. Finally, it is remarkable that in line with the global reach of the Internet the cross-border implications of all issues mentioned receive special attention all over the book. International jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition of decisions are discussed in detailed in every chapter.

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