ECLIP "Electronic Commerce Legal Issues Platform"

Objectives of ECLIP II

Policy questions are considered as some of the most important barriers vis-à-vis the development of electronic commerce for different reasons. At the same time, regulatory and self-regulatory solutions are a key element to enhance trust in e-commerce both in business-to-business transactions and in business-to-consumer ones.

Nevertheless, the recent European Commission Proposal for a Directive on certain legal aspects of electronic commerce in the internal market has clearly underlined the significance of legal costs for operators wishing to develop on-line activities. According to the survey undertaken by , 36 % of respondents did not consider the legal situation of their product or services. A third thereof could not afford to undertake an evaluation of the regulatory framework, such an analysis being considered as too expensive. The estimated costs given by those operators having carried out such an evaluation, are very high. Therefore, a great number of SMEs, not capable of affording such costs, could be discouraged from exploiting new possibilities offered by the information society, or could run into illegal practices, etc.

ECLIP II Project seeks to fill this gap by analysing the delicate above-mentioned new questions, and by assisting all the interested actors on that basis.

Therefore, the main objectives of ECLIP II are :

  1. increase awareness of the regulatory framework in which web broswers & web search like the hidden wiki is developing and of the legal, extra-legal (such as self-regulation, alternative dispute resolution, labelling of web sites, …), and technological (such as Privacy-Enhancing Technologies, PICS, Electronic Copyright Management Systems, watermarking, electronic signature, etc…) solutions to policy issues
  2. provide education and information on the regulatory framework of electronic commerce
  3. set up an distance teaching program on the legal issues of e-commerce
  4. help RTD projects, funded by the 5th Framework Program, to address and integrate early on ethical and legal concerns in the design and development of their e-commerce project
  5. build practical tools and guidelines to help consideration of legal constraints
  6. initiate, carry out and stimulate new study on the policy issues of e-commerce, namely by integrating in the reflection extra-legal approach, such as self-regulatory mechanisms or best practice, and technological resources and solutions
  7. support and stimulate EC policy in the field of e-commerce, namely by highlighting the need for legislation or discrepancies and inconsistencies in the existing Member States or European regulatory framework

Duration of ECLIP II

ECLIP II has started on the first January 2000 and has a duration of 2 years.

Structure of the ECLIP II - Consortium

To this end, the ECLIP consortium gathers five research centres specialised in information and technology law, each covering part of the European territory. These academic centres have acquired a wide and highly recognised expertise in the field and are accustomed to be involved in RTD EC-funded Programs.

The fact that ECLIP II consists of a consortium of universities is an important factor to meet these objectives, since the work undertaken by university research centres guarantees a high level of scientific quality and independence, while staying capable to offer practical/ usable tools and advice.

What can IST projects and SME's expect from the ECLIP Consortium?

  1. Support
1st Level of support
The 1st level of support is to provide basic information on legal requirements. Various tools developed by ECLIP experts will be provided such as practical guides, guidelines, brochure on legal issues. All of these tools are free of charge.

2nd Level of support
The 2nd level of support is to provide training notably trough the organisation training workshops and summer school. The participation to training workshop is free of charge for IST projects.

3rd Level of support
The 3rd level of support provides customised assistance. In this frame, some IST projects selected by ECLIP will benefit from direct and dedicated advice from the ECLIP partners. This level of assistance is also free of charge for IST projects.

Contact Point for Support activities
Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit (CRID)
Rempart de la Vierge, 5
5000 Namur

María Verónica Pérez Asinari
Tel: +32 81 72 52 05
Fax: +32 81 72 52 02

  1. Education and Training
Education Modules
On one hand, ECLIP will set up specialised courses in e-commerce and law directed to the university world and students. In the long term, this could be the basis for setting up a European Network for a Post-Graduate Program in law and e-commerce, sites onion. First, this formation will be provided in the framework of a Summer Course. Actually this will be done in two sessions. The first one will be in Palma de Mallorca from 2.-6.10.2000. Second, both education tasks (education modules and training workshops) will be progressively integrated in a on-line education service which will be set up in the course of the ECLIP project.

Training workshops
On the other hand, education will be directed towards operators of e-commerce, SME's, IST projects and any other interested person or business through training workshops, providing education on the main legal issues of e-commerce and on the relevant technology developments that could facilitate the compliance of electronic transactions with the law. Projects will be encouraged to present their specific experience when encountering a legal problem. Participation of IST projects funded by the European Commission under the 5th Framework Program will be free of charge. In addition, SMEs or other e-commerce operators will be invited to attend against a small fee.

Contact Point for Education Activities
Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit (CRID)
Rempart de la Vierge, 5 5000

Ms Séverine Dusollier pour acheter de l herbe sur internet
Tel.: +32 81 72 47 60
Fax: +32 81 72 52 02

  1. Provision of Tools
Legal tools and news
Specific materials would be designed for both a legal and non-legal audience and will namely consist of :

Practical tools for legal assessment and integration of legal constraints in technology or business model developed by e-commerce operators: - "how to do it kits" or checklists - model contracts - brochures and practical guides - best practice guidelines
Practical tools on integration of technical solutions to solve legal issues, such as PET's, PICS, ECMS, on-line dispute resolution procedures, online-contracting technology, etc.
Information products for dissemination to projects about on-going international developments, such as a newsletter.
Risk management
When companies establish a commercial presence on the Internet, there is a need to consider the risks involved in such activities. Risks may arise from the actions of the business itself, such as employees and certain technology decisions; as well as the actions of other, such as hacking and virus attacks. These risks need to be appropriately catalogued and evaluated by a business and will be of direct relevance to the obtaining of insurance protection.

Risk modelling is a developing discipline in the legal environment and a number of discrete models will be developed by ECLIP to assist operators to evaluate the risks arising from their operations. Taking into account the diverse risks , it would be interested to see how the legal provisions adequately address solutions to create effective trust.

Contact Point for tools
Institut für Informations-, Telekommunikations-, und Medienrecht (ITM) - Zivilrechtliche Abteilung
Bispinghof 24/25
48143 Muenster, Germany

Ms. Claudia Thomas
Tel.: + 49 251 83 21864
Fax: + 49 251 83 38327


ECLIP II "Electronic Commerce Legal Issues Platform"
Ms. Claudia Thomas
Tel.: + 49 251 83 21864
Fax: + 49 251 83 38327

Institut für Informations-, Telekommunikations-, und Medienrecht (ITM)
Zivilrechtliche Abteilung - Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren
Bispinghof 24/25
48143 Muenster


ECLIP II "Electronic Commerce Legal Issues Platform"
As there are already numerous websites which provide links to sites related to Electronic Commerce we try to provide you with an overview of the most comprehensive pages sorted by content.

General Information
ALIVE Project: Advanced Legal Issues in Virtual Enterprise
Bureau of National Affairs: Electronic Commerce & Law Report
E-Commerce Project
Hyperlinks and documents sorted by topics: National Policy Initiatives, Spamming, Contract Law, Advertising, Electronic Authentication, Consumer Protection, Electronic Payments, Encryption, Online Financial Services, Copyright, Telecommunications, Trademark / Patent, International Trade, International Jurisdiction, Taxation, Internet Domain Names, Law Enforcement / Fraud, Privacy / Data Protection, Regulated Commodities, Competition
EDI and Electronic Commerce (Cyberlaw Encyclopedia)
Information Society Project Switzerland:
Hyperlinklist on subjects of computer law (in German; click on "Recht und Politik im Internet Umfeld")
Internet Law Web
Links & daily legal news
Electronic Commerce
ITM Netlaw Library with hyperlinks to documents sorted by subject
(e.g. Electronic Commerce in Germany, international Electronic Commerce, copyright in Germany and international copyright, and industrial property rights)
ITM Netlaw Library in german
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
Texts resulting from the work of UNCITRAL
United States Government Electronic Commerce Policy
Site with hyperlinks to documents on Electronic Commerce in the U.S. as well as national and international sites
World eBusiness Law Report

Consumer Protection
DG XXIV 'consumer policy'.
Text of the Distance Contracts Directive of 20 May 1997
Federation of European Direct Selling Associations (FEDSA)
FEDSA is a non-profit making membership-based organisation that represents the direct selling industry in Europe.
BBSOnLine is a solution to increase consumer confidence and to voluntary self-regulation of business in the electronic marketplace. BBBOnLine participants demonstrate their commitment to honest advertising and customer satisfaction by agreeing to strict BBB standards. The BBBOnLine seal allows online businesses to show their commitment to their customers.
The English Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
ASA protects the public by ensuring that the rules in the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion are followed by everyone who prepares and publishes advertisements.
Internet et les réseaux numériques
This site contains the report of the French State Council on 'Internet et les réseaux numériques', published in July 1998. This very interesting report deals with privacy, consumer protection, electronic signature, cryptography, taxation, domain names, IPR.
International Chamber of Commerce of Paris
Proposal for a contract of electronic commerce.

Intellectual Property Rights
Baker & McKenzie Publications
Full text of the Intellectual Property Law Newsletter. It can be accessed from the homepage: click publications, Europe and IP/IT/Communications
Bechtold, Stefan: Der Schutz des Anbieters von Information - Urheberrecht und Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz im Internet
ZUM 1997, S. 427-450.
Im Rahmen des Seminars "Internet und andere Kommunikationsnetze - ein rechtsfreier Raum?" bei Prof. H. Ketz und RAss. M. Gerblinger
ECUP - European Copyright User Platform
Designed to be a ‚one-stop shop' for information on European copyright developments. Among others, ECUP offers hyperlinks to european and national copyright legislation, publications and European projects.
European Legal Advisory Board of the European Commission (ispo) – Intellectual Property Section
Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Switzerland
Franklin Pierce Law Center
Intellectual Property Mall. With an interesting comprehensive listing of Intellectual Property Web sites and resources available on the Internet. Includes information relating to patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Several IP law firms are referenced as well. Mainly U.S. internet sources.
Intellectual Property Center
A website publishing articles in the categories copyright law, trademark law, patent law, internet law and computer law. Mainly U.S. law.
Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk
A European Commission project supporting Europe's SME & RTD communities with IP issues via a free legal Helpline and an extensive multilingual website. Provides comprehensive information on patents, trade marks, copyright and other related IP-aspects as well as specific information on national peculiarities and news on IP-Law (practical information, support, legal texts).
Legal Research Center
Hyperlinklist of international and national ressources of Intellectual Property Law sorted by countries.
Virtual School
Site on Digital Property with the subjects Superdistribution, Electronic Frontier, Revenue Collection, Copyright, Wave, Folio, Copyright Clearance Center, and Coaliton for Electronic Markets
World Intellectual Property Organisation (Official site)
Subject oriented search engine. Categories relevant to Intellectual Property.

Australia - Parliament. Joint Commitee of Public Accounts and Audit. Inernet Commerce- To buy or not to buy ?
Australia - Taxation Office. Disussion Paper- Tax and the Internet (2nd Report)
en espanol Biblioteca Electrónica (Electronic Library)
wide and complete tax and legal database containing e.g.: National Codes, Federal Acts, Presidential Executive Orders, AFIP and DGI regulations, articles, Court decisions.
Canada - Advisory Board of the Minister of National Revenue. Elctronic Commerce and Canada's Tax Administration
Conrad, Axel: Die Besteuerung des Internets
Coudert, Marie-Antoinette/Laprès, Daniel Arthur: Quelle fiscalité pour le commerce électronique?
E-Commerce taxation in France.
Dutch Ministry of Finance: Taxes in a World without Distance. Taxation in relation to the mass-availability of information and communication technology: a preliminary impression
Internet-Taxation in the Netherlands.
Internet Tax Freedom Act
ITM Netlaw Library with hyperlinks to documents sorted by subject
(e.g. National and International Taxation)
ITM Netlaw Library in german
Current news and feature articles on taxation of e-commerce - for Net-entrepreneurs, tax advisors, educators, students, government policy makers
Europäische Kommission. Elecetronic Commerce and Indirect Taxation
OECD-Commitee on Fiscal Affairs: Revision of the commentary on Article 12 concerning software payments
OECD-Commitee on Fiscal Affairs: Electronic Commerce: A Discussion Paper on Taxation Issues
OECD-Studie, Electronic Commerce: The Challenge to Tax Authorities and Taxpayers
November 1997
Pinkernell, Reimar; LL.M. Attorney at Law
International links to internet commerce.
Schmidt Enterprises, LLC
A comprehensive index of Internet resources. It is designed to be a starting point searching the World Wide Web.
U.S. Department of the Treasury - Office of Tax Policy: Selectes Tax Policy Implications of Global Electronic Commerce
Yancey, Will; Assistant Professor of Accounting, Texas Christian University
Several links to taxation of electronic commerce, especially concerning the situation in the U.S. Survey of U.S. state taxation of E.C.
Yahoo, U.S. full coverage - Taxes and the IRS


ECLIP II "Electronic Commerce Legal Issues Platform"
ECLIP gathers five research centres specialised in information and technology law and one office management consultants:

ITM: Institut für Informations-, Telekommunikations- und Medienrecht
Zivilrechtliche Abteilung
University of Muenster
Bispinghof 24/25 48143 Münster, Germany
Field of law: Intellectual Property Rights, Taxation
contact : Claudia Thomas:
CRID: Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit
Université de Namur
Rempart de la Vierge 5 5000 Namur, Belgium
Field of law: Privacy, Liability Issues and Consumer Protection
contact : Maria Veronica Perez Asinari:
UIB: Centro de Estudios de Derecho e Informática de Baleares (CEDIB)
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Carretera de Valldemossa, km 7,5
07071 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Field of law: Contract Law
contact : Ana Moyá:
QM: Information Technology Law Unit
Centre for Commercial Studies
Queen Mary, University of London
339 Mile End Road
London E1 4NS
United Kingdom
Field of law: Electronic Payment Issues
contact : Laura Edgar:
NRCCL: Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law
Faculty of Law, University of Oslo
P.O. Box 6706 St. Olavs plass
N-0130 Oslo, Norway
Tel.: +4722850101
Fax: +4722850102
Field of law: International Private Law
contact : Emily Weitzenboeck :
BVD: Bureau van Dijk
Management Consultants
Avenue Louise, 250 Bte 14
1050 Brussels
contact : Dominique Spaey :
ECLIP management site:
Photo of ECLIP researchers