Media know how

Can I sack an employee for criticising their place of work on social media?

The problem One of my team members has posted a comment on his personal Facebook page saying that he hates his work, our customers and his colleagues. The comment was made in his own time on his home computer, but it has been seen by some of our regular diners. Can I dismiss him? The […]


After the Premier League file closure: is this the new ‘industrial policy’ in action or time to strip Ofcom of its competition enforcement powers?

This week’s announcement that Ofcom is closing its investigation into Virgin Media’s complaint that the Premier League is restricting the supply of live TV rights to its matches, in return for the Premier League increasing their number from 168 to 190 and agreeing that no single buyer will scoop the pool next time the rights […]

BBC Independence; a contradiction in terms?

The much anticipated BBC White Paper, published this month, heralds fundamental changes. On the basis that almost £5 billion of our annual revenue (including £3.7 billion from the licence fee) goes into funding the BBC’s activities, transparency over its decision-making is clearly vital. On the other hand, over-interference may damage the BBC’s commercial competitiveness and […]


Getting the message out – political broadcasting in the UK

This is an extract of an interview given by Paul Herbert, Partner at Goodman Derrick to Giverny Tattersfield for a Lexis Nexis publication. What are the rules around political broadcasting? There is a long-standing ban on advertisements of a political nature on television or radio in the UK on the grounds that allowing political advertising in […]

Digital Single Market Strategy

In May 2015, the EU Commission announced its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, highlighting a number of initiatives which supported the Commission’s aim to create a connected digital single market and to encourage e-commerce throughout the EU. The EU Commission also announced that it was to investigate the restrictions that prevent the cross border […]


Discovery’s Olympic Games Bid

1.       What are the terms of the agreement between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Discovery? From what we can glean from the IOC’s announcement on June 29 2015, the IOC has entered into an agreement with Discovery Communications, a US based global media company and the parent company of Eurosport. The €1.3bn deal grants […]

Council of the European Union progress on new Data Protection Regulation

On 15 June 2015 the Council of the European Union released their general approach on the draft Data Protection Regulation. This follows the European Commission and the European Parliament’s proposals which were published in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Readers will recall that the aim of the new legislation is twofold: (1) to enhance citizen’s data […]


Significant changes to company law in the UK, Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

The government’s aim in introducing the Act is to enable small businesses to innovate, grow and compete. The hope is also that internationally it will endorse the UK as a trusted and fair place to do business. The Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and is set to have a significant impact on […]

Competition law and the cultural industries: is there now a “social” exemption?

Collective agreements between unions and employers setting minimum rates of pay which are intended to improve working conditions of employees generally fall outside the scope of competition law.   So trades unions can agree minimum fees for their members without fear of fines for breaches of the prohibition on cartels. But what about collective agreements entered […]


Does the FIFA Ban on TPO infringe EU Law?

Whether it be huge transfer fees, large broadcasting deals or the financial fair play rules, football and finance is rarely out of the news. The latest issue to rear its head is third party ownership of football players. Whilst the issue in the UK dates back to the well known Tevez-Mascherano saga in 2007, FIFA’s […]

Legal Update: Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc

Last month, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Vidal-Hall and Others v Google. The appeal was only on preliminary issues and it looks like there will be a subsequent appeal before the substantive matter reaches trial. However, this decision is likely to have a far-reaching impact on UK data protection and privacy law. […]


Privatise BBC Three? – I don’t believe it

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL IP & IT on 28 January 2015. Could private bidders buy a chunk of the BBC and stop BBC Three from becoming an internet-only channel? Paul Herbert, head of media, technology and communications at Goodman Derrick LLP, considers the challenges the bidders are likely to face. Background In […]

Top 5 New Year resolutions for HR practitioners

***** Stop Press: Katee Dias was recognised as a “Star Legal Writer” by the The Lawyer for this article. ***** Katee Dias Employment Lawyer Goodman Derrick Top Five HR Resolutions As January is often seen as the time for instigating change, we thought it would be helpful to consider some possible New Year resolutions for those of […]


Virgin Media’s Ofcom complaint – payback time for the long suffering fans?

Stephen Hornsby’s article originally appeared in World Sports Law Report Volume 12, Issue 12, December 2014. To access the original, please visit: http://e-comlaw.com/world-sports-law-report/article_template.asp?ID=1729 Virgin Media’s Complaint to Ofcom As noticed briefly in last months issue, Virgin Media has complained to Ofcom that the English Premier League (“EPL”) practice of restricting the number of games available […]

Intellectual Property Act 2014: A Summary of the Key Provisions

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 (IPA 2014) came into force on 1 October 2014. It aims to modernise copyright law and help designers and patent-holders protect their IP. It is hoped that the changes will support business innovation and bring clarity to the scope of protection afforded by design rights. Many of the changes will […]


US – Style retransmission fees to hit the UK?

Is the current UK broadcasting framework – in which public service broadcasters are carried by cable and satellite service providers for no payment – overdue for an overhaul? ITV and Channel 4 maintain that they should be permitted to levy retransmission fees for their carriage on Virgin Media and BSkyB, and the Culture Secretary appears […]

US Supreme Court rules in Aereo TV Copyright Case

US broadcasters have won an important battle in their efforts to prevent an unlicensed service from providing online real-time streaming of their broadcasts. The Facts On 25 June 2014, the US Supreme Court delivered a pivotal judgment in American Broadcasting Companies v Aereo, tackling the question as to whether or not Aereo, a technology company […]


A New Competition And Markets Authority: But No New Dawn For Public Competition Law Enforcement In The UK

With a certain amount of trumpeting, the new Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) came into existence on 1 April – thus merging the OFT and the Competition Commission. The CMA has the largest annual budget (£52m) of any competition law enforcement agency in Europe – so much will be expected of it. Unfortunately, any reform […]

Copyright: Hyperlinking And The Right Of Communication To The Public

Svensson and others v Retriever Sverige AB Overview Linking is the practice of posting clickable links on the internet which lead to content posted elsewhere. Under s20 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“CDPA”), it is prohibited to communicate to the public by electronic transmission the whole or a substantial part of a […]


Penalty Clauses in Commercial Agreements Following El Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings

It is common for parties to commercial agreements to agree mechanisms for resolving breaches of their agreement without having to resort to legal proceedings. Typically this is done by incorporating provisions, such as forfeiture or compulsory buy-back clauses, into a contract which are activated upon one party’s breach of its terms. In such a situation, […]

Should Merger Control Be Repatriated To The UK (And All Other Member States)?

Since 2012, the Government has been conducting an audit of EU powers (or “competences” to use the jargon) with a view to seeking whether their repatriation to the UK in appropriate cases.  In a recent consultation, it has got round to asking interested parties on about the current division of regulatory responsibilities between Brussels and […]


A Review of Employment Law Reform in 2013 and 2014

As with 2013, there will be no rest for employment law advisers, employers and HR practitioners in 2014, with further legislative change on the agenda.  Many of the changes hail from the government’s Red Tape Challenge following its publication of the report “Progress on Reform” on 14 March 2013, which detailed the intended timetable for […]

Start-Up Guide to Cookies

Businesses are required to obtain positive consent from visitors to their websites to store or retrieve usage information from users’ computers or mobile devices using cookies. What are cookies? Cookies are small text files implanted by a website on the hard disks of visitors to the site. Businesses use cookies for collecting information about those […]


Start-Up Guide to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Many employees now own personal mobile devices that can be used for business purposes. Businesses are receiving an increasing number of requests to allow employees to use these devices at work. BYOD benefits BYOD can bring a number of benefits to businesses, including: Increased flexibility and efficiency in working practices. Improved employee morale and job […]

Start-Up Guide to Break Clauses in Commercial Leases

What is a break clause? A break clause is often included in a lease, allowing either the tenant or landlord to terminate the lease early. Exercising a break clause brings the lease to an end. However, where the landlord breaks the lease, legislation is in place that may allow the tenant to remain in the […]


Start-Up Guide to Incorporating a Private Limited Company

What type of company can be incorporated? A new business can be set up as a company or an existing business can be incorporated as a company. The latter is often the case when a business has reached the stage where the increased administrative burden of company law requirements is offset by the benefits that […]

Start-Up Guide to Dismissing an Employee

Dismissing an employee for a reason other than one allowed by law, or without following the correct procedure or giving adequate notice, may lead to a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Compensation for a successful claim can potentially be substantial. Regardless of whether a claim succeeds, the costs of defending it, in terms of […]


Start-Up Guide to Managing Poor Performance

Businesses should follow good management practices to help avoid potential claims relating to a dismissal: Make sure that any employee-related policies and procedures the business has are always followed (for example, an equal opportunities policy). Address any issues with employees as soon as they emerge. Generally an employer’s position deteriorates the longer the delay. Think […]

Start-Up Guide to Data Protection

Protecting and securing personal data Personal data is any information about an individual held on computer or in organised filing systems that could identify the individual, either on its own or together with other information held by that business or a third party. Personal data needs to be protected and kept secure. This data may […]


Start-Up Guide to Contract Negotiations

Who is the other party? What is the reputation of the other party? Have you done business together before? Consider doing a credit check if the other party is unknown to you. Is the other party is based overseas? Consider taking legal advice to ensure that your business is adequately protected if things go wrong. […]

Start-Up Guide to Hiring an Employee

Before advertising Make sure all staff involved in the recruitment process have had equal opportunities training. Draw-up the following documents:  a job description which sets out the title and main purpose of the job, the place of the job holder within the business and the main tasks or responsibilities of the post. a person specification […]


Start-Up Guide to Handling a Dispute

Do you really want to be involved in legal proceedings? Litigation is time consuming, expensive and often protracted. It is also an inherently uncertain process and the outcome will depend on a large number of factors many of which will be outside of your control. It is almost always better to find a commercial solution […]

Start-Up Guide to Trading Disclosures

Introduction The aim of trading disclosure legislation is to ensure that anyone who has dealings with you and your company knows its legal identity, its status and where they can inspect the company records. The law requires that certain details are: –      Displayed at specified locations. –      Set out on documents and communications. –      Given […]


Start-Up Guide to Brand Management

A strong brand helps distinguish products from your competitors’. It adds value to the business by enhancing consumer awareness and improving customer loyalty. A brand can be made up of many elements…

domain-name.revolution?

In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the professional body for domain name registration) launched the new generic top level domain (gTLD) programme to permit the introduction of new top level domains on the internet. The move, which has attracted much publicity, will allow web addresses to end in a whole range of new domains (such as .app, .sport, .accountant) beyond the likes of .com, .co.uk and .net.


Flower Power: High Court Rules that Marks & Spencer did Infringe Interflora’s Trade Mark

The High Court has handed down judgment in the long-running case of Interflora Inc v Marks and Spencer plc [2013] EWHC 1291 (Ch), May 2013. The case concerned the unauthorised use of third-party trade marks as advertising keywords through Google’s AdWords service.

The Music Plays On – Extended Copyright Protection for Performers

The Intellectual Property Office has published its analysis of responses to the draft amendments to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 extending copyright protection for performers and in sound recordings.


Data Protection: A Computer Never Forgets!

The EU is currently negotiating a new Regulation to cover data protection and the introduction of a right to be forgotten. For more detail on the impact and Britain’s response please read on.

Ofcom will Lose Competition Enforcement Powers

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament will merge the OFT with the Competition Commission creating the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and in so doing will broadly align the UK enforcement of competition law with systems in continental Europe such as DG Comp and the German cartel office. In the little noticed clause 45, the new CMA will have the power to insist that Ofcom hands over responsibility of a given competition matter to it.


Press Regulation and Exemplary Damages

On 17 March, the three main political parties struck an eleventh hour deal on a new regulatory regime for the press. The agreement, made in the wake of the Leveson Report, will establish a regulator with new powers. We outline exactly what has been agreed and how this will affect news publishers. Then we consider one of the more controversial aspects of the deal concerning exemplary damages, and the likelihood of success of a press challenge based on Human Rights legislation.

Hargreaves: Changes to Protection of Copyright Protected Works

On 20 December 2012 the Government published its final response to the Copyright Consultation following the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review. What changes can we expect and what has been the reaction to the proposals?


Executive Remuneration: Changes in 2013

There are a number of company law proposals expected to be implemented in 2013. These include reforms relating to executive remuneration and the introduction of the new employee-owner status

Employment Law – What to Expect in 2013

The Government has a wide variety of new legislation currently going through Parliament, which it intends to bring into force next year. This should make for a very interesting and challenging 2013 in the employment and discrimination arena


Excessive Director Remuneration

Court of Appeal overturns High Court Decision on Unfair Prejudice

Competing Holiday Requests

Many staff will want time off over Christmas, and it’s not always possible to accommodate every request. So its important to ensure you have a sensible system for deciding who get to take holiday.


Rules on Employee Rest

Read here for a summary of the rules regarding rest breaks that should be given to workers.

Ofcom decision on Fit and Proper Assessment of Sky

An analysis of Ofcom’s recently published decision that Sky remains a fit and proper person to hold a broadcasting licence.


The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”) received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The primary purpose of the bill was to reform the civil litigation costs and funding framework, but a number of other changes were also included which may have wide reaching consequences for businesses in England & Wales and their directors and senior officers.

Infringement of Copyright in Non-Fiction Works: From Luxembourg to Darlington

Jonathan Haydn-Williams considers three significant court decisions concerning infringement of copyright in factual or historical literary works. In the first, the European Court introduced a new test for infringement, which the second and third have blended into English law. As a result, reproducing even small extracts of news articles may amount to infringement and a headline may in itself attract copyright protection. The third case concerns the story of “Flipper”, a disabled supporter of Darlington Football Club.


Ofcom and the Pub Landlord: Have Sky and (FAPL) Won?

The summer’s exciting sporting action has not entirely obscured important developments off the field in the Pay TV market. Ofcom has been trying for a long time to loosen Sky’s grip on Premier League rights and BT Vision has bought a package of rights at considerable expense. However Ofcom has lost a significant battle before the Competition Appeal Tribunal . And it looks as if the pub landlady’s much trumpeted “victory” will be snatched from her as the Premier League curtails the number of foreign broadcasts. Stephen Hornsby asks whether it is now time for the regulatory authorities to move on.