CAP launches new guidance on advertising ‘free trials’ or other promotional offer subscriptions

By Francis Keepfer

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has this week launched new guidance on the advertisement of ‘free trials’ or other similar promotional offer subscriptions. The guidance has been issued as part of National Consumer Week 2017 which this year is focusing on subscriptions and subscription traps.

Working in collaboration with other organisations such as Citizens Advice and National Trading Standards, CAP’s aim is to ‘raise awareness and understanding amongst consumers about subscriptions so that they are better equipped to make informed choices and know who to turn to if something has gone wrong’.

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UK Autumn Budget 2017


On Wednesday 22 November, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Autumn 2017 Budget. The most significant announcement (though absent from the Chancellor’s speech) was that, from April 2019, the UK will be imposing UK tax on gains made by non-residents disposing of UK commercial property whether directly or via property-rich companies or other entities.

The Budget has also confirmed that with effect from April 2020, non-resident companies with UK source income such as rental income from UK real estate will be within the scope of UK corporation tax rather than income tax.

Alongside the Budget, the UK government has produced a position paper on how the digital economy should be taxed and a proposal to impose a withholding tax on royalties derived from UK sales paid to low tax jurisdictions from April 2019. Below is a summary of some the measures announced:

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Can a TV show format acquire copyright protection?

By Patrick Mitchell and Will Thorman

Many years ago the Courts determined that there was no copyright in the format for the “Opportunity Knocks” game show (see Green v New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation [1989] 2 All ER 1056) and since then several other claims to copyright in TV formats have failed when considered under English law.

However, in its judgment (available here), the English High Court held that it was possible that a game show format could acquire copyright protection as an original ‘dramatic work’.

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On 2 October 2017, the Italian Council of Ministers approved a new Legislative Decree (“Decree“), aimed at ensuring a wider protection to EU (and Italian) works in the audiovisual media services (“AVMS“) sector. A brief outline of the new provisions is set out below.
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Ofcom launches revised rules on consumer protection and nuisance calls

By Francis Keepfer

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has launched a review of its General Conditions of Entitlement (the regulatory rules that all UK communications providers (CPs) must follow in order to operate) and a consultation on updating its guidance concerning the provision of calling line identification (CLI) facilities.

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Update: German Sports Betting Regulation

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein announced that it will not approve the new State Treaty on Gambling. They want to push for an entire new law that includes licenses for online casinos as mentioned in their coalition agreement.

In addition the administration of North Rhine-Westphalia announced that it will not ratify the new law and that it stopped the implementation of the new responsibilities (the new law provides that North Rhine-Westphalia takes over the sports betting regulation from Hesse).

The consequence of this situation is that the new State Treaty will not enter into force on 1 January 2018 as planned. This is because the law provides that it will be invalid if it is not ratified by all 16 German states until 31 December 2017.

Until the German states find an agreement for a new law the current regulatory situation remains. Sports betting will be tolerated for EU-licensed operators as long as they comply with material regulatory requirements like advertising restrictions and AML obligations. This is now confirmed by several higher administrative courts like the ones of North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Hesse.

Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann recently commented on the decision of the higher administrative court of Hesse in the German magazine “GRUR-Prax” 2017 p. 387; the article can be viewed here (in German, subscription based). Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt was also interviewed about the Schleswig-Holstein situation by the magazine “Online Gambling Lawyer“.

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Changes to the law on Sport in Poland

by Rafał Burda and Wojciech Biegański

The new Polish Sports Law that came into force on 12 September 2017 introduces important changes with respect to the regulatory aspects of sport as well as some organisational and structural changes to sport in Poland that are aimed at conforming with modern standards of sports regulation. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK – Gambling Commission – Revised Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards

By Jonathan Salt

Following a consultation in October 2016, the Gambling Commission (Commission) has recently announced revised remote gambling and software technical standards (RTS) aimed at ensuring that online operators offer consumers a uniformed set of tools to monitor their gambling activities in the United Kingdom.

Prior to the consultation, the RTS has remained generally unchanged since it was first implemented in 2007. The Commission has concluded that it is now necessary to reflect the modern changes in technology in the gambling environment and the significant growth of online gambling in the United Kingdom with the revised RTS.

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Update on the new AML Act in Germany

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The new German Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act entered into force on 26 June 2017 after it has been published in the Federal Law Gazette.

The new AML Act brings three important changes for gambling companies:

  • Extension of the scope from online to offline gambling and from licensed to unlicensed gambling
  • Revised AML measures in detail
  • Extended catalogue of administrative offenses with higher administrative fines (up to 1 million Euro)

For more information on the new AML Act we published a client alert for gambling companies that are offering their services in Germany. In addition we wrote an article in the German newspaper FAZ covering the main impacts on gambling companies.

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Implementation of the AML Directive in Poland

By Magdalena Gmur

The first quarter of 2017 saw extensive amendments being made to the Polish Gambling Act. However, gambling operators should now focus their attention on proposed anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, which may also affect their business activity. The Polish government has just published the first draft of the new Act on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (Draft AML Act), which will implement into Polish law Directive EU 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. Read the rest of this entry »

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