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E-Commerce Framework

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E-Commerce Framework

  1. 1. Regulatory Framework for E-Commerce: International “Best Practices” & Models ROBERT HORVITZ Manager, Central/Eastern Europe GLOBAL INTERNET POLICY INITIATIVE (GIPI) [email_address] “ The State and Development Prospects of ICT in Uzbekistan” Uzbek Agency of Communication & Informatization (UzACI) Tashkent, 26-27 November 2002
  2. 2. Key Issues in Creating a Framework for E-Commerce <ul><li>Telecom reform </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of electronic documents </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer protection </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) </li></ul><ul><li>Dispute resolution </li></ul><ul><li>ISP liability </li></ul><ul><li>Domain names </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Telecom Reform <ul><li>Probably the most important way to boost development of e-commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing competition... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces costs so more people go online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improves quality of service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attracts foreign investment for network expansion </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Telecom Reform <ul><li>WTO Annex on Telecommunications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/serv_e/12-tel_e.htm (1997) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WTO Principles on the Regulatory Frame-work for Basic Telecommunications Regulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres97_e/refpap-e.htm (1996) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 2. Recognition of electronic documents <ul><li>To enable... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>legal recognition of electronic contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of electronic documents as evidence in courts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>electronic filing of government forms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>...By agreeing on principles for recognizing e-signatures and other electronic validation technologies. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>and exceptions where they are not recognized. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Recognition of electronic documents <ul><li>United Nations Commission on International Trade Law: “Model Law on Electronic Commerce” (UNCITRAL, 1996): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uncitral.org/english/texts/electcom/ecommerceindex.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>European Directive on a Community framework for electronic signatures (1999) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/media/sign/Dir99-93-ecEN.pdf </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 3. Consumer Protection <ul><li>E-commerce’s success depends on the legal system recognizing & promptly enforcing electronic contracts (business-to-business and business-to-consumer). </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer protection includes... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibiting misleading advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulating consumer financial services & credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules against fraudulent & unauthorized billing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules for resolving complaints about defective products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Including right to a refund if goods not delivered </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 3. Consumer Protection <ul><li>Before closing contract, consumer should be given... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity & address of supplier. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Description of goods & their price. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedure for payment, delivery & performance (if buying a service). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notice of “right of withdrawal.” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 3. Consumer Protection <ul><li>European Parliament & Council Directive 97/7/EC (17 February 1997) on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/ebusiness/ecommerce/3information/law&ecommerce/legal/documents/31997L0007/31997L0007_en.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>European Parliament & Council Directive 2000/31/EC (8 June 2000) on electronic commerce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ecommerce/legal/documents/2000_31ec/2000_31ec_en.pdf </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 4. Electronic Funds Transfer <ul><li>Developing an online payment system involves complex issues of security, liability & taxation. </li></ul><ul><li>At a minimum, banking laws must enable payment via credit/debit-card. </li></ul><ul><li>Many EU directives deal with this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are good models for legislators. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 5. Dispute Resolution <ul><li>Disagreements between buyers & sellers are inevitable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where small amounts of money are involved, going to court is not practical. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To build consumer confidence, encourage cheap & fast “alternative dispute resolution” processes – in addition to the courts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ADR processes need not be government-managed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NGOs & businesses can set them up & run them. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 5. Dispute Resolution <ul><li>“Report of the Conference on Building Trust in the Online Environment: Business to Consumer Dispute Resolution,” Joint Conference of the OECD, HCOPIL & ICC (11-12 December 2000), Document # DSTI/ICCP/REG/CP (2001). </li></ul>
  13. 13. 6. ISP Liability <ul><li>ISPs should not be held liable if it is only a “transparent relay” for improper commercial information created by others. </li></ul><ul><li>Also not liable under US or EU law for information that is automatically & temporarily “cached” to speed up local access. </li></ul><ul><li>ISP has no general duty to monitor or investigate the legality of material which he only transmits for others. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 7. Domain names <ul><li>Not essential that e-commerce law deal with domain name registration. </li></ul><ul><li>But it can become an e-commerce issue... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If cost of company name registration is too high, or rules limiting how many names can be registered is too restrictive. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>See ICANN’s best practices in ccTLD management: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.icann.org/cctlds/centr-2nd-best-practices-20may01.htm </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. For another time... <ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic notaries </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights & trademarks </li></ul><ul><li>Cybercrime </li></ul><ul><li>ROBERT HORVITZ </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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