Developments in IT Law

IT law in the spotlight: this year’s 3 nations meeting of the German Association for Law and Informatics was held in Innsbruck on June 30th and July 1st, 2017 in cooperation with Innsbruck University’s Law Faculty.

The German Association for Law and Informatics (DGRI, looks at questions on the interface between informatics and computer technology on the one hand and law and economics on the other. Its members are mainly jurists, but also include IT technicians specialised in IT law, among them university professors, corporate counsels and lawyers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The DGRI has assumed the task of promoting the liason between education, research and practice in the areas legal questions in data processing, the use of information technology in the legal system  and creating a legal framework for information technology.

Lawyer Georg Huber is a member of DGRI and spoke on the latest developments in Austrian IT-law at the 3-nations meeting on June 30th, 2017.

Among other things, he reported on the Austrian Data Protection Amendment Act, the latest Supreme Court judgements on Facebook and Facebook users, Austro-Mechana’s lawsuit against 5 Amazon companies due to the payment of data storage media as well as the Supreme Court decision regarding the competence of Austrian courts in questions of infringement of personal rights on the internet. For example the Supreme Court ruled that the operator of a Facebook site on which users would be able to leave comments qualifies as a host-provider within the meaning of the E-Commerce Act. The host provider is obliged to pass on the data of a user who has made defamatory comments to the damaged party for possible legal pursuit.

Naturally IT law is developing rapidly and the number of court decisions being rendered is increasing constantly. However a lot of questions remain unanswered, especially in the fields of copyright, trademark and patent law, data protection and also liability and contract law.

Recurrent issues at the meeting were Blockchain and IT security. Bitcoins and Cybercrime were widely talked about. Both areas are highly topical. This was reflected in the strong interest shown.






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