ADVERTORIAL: Legal Guidance for Innovating in the Digital Age

ADVERTORIAL: Britain has been fortunate enough to seize the initiative with the new media age and grow the digital economy through the development of web based media services and interactive communication tools that unleash the potential of the ecommerce market place. Recent research has acclaimed the UK as providing a faster digital economy than any other G20 nation. 

Web marketing is undoubtedly an innovative opportunity for success during challenging economic times as it extends the boundaries of a traditional market place. However businesses need to be aware that the opportunity requires a knowledge of the differing regulations between countries and the adaptation of legal practises to be successful.  

Ecommerce presents opportunity and challenges for businesses, but only the best guided succeed.  

The New Media World of Ecommerce. 

The UK has witnessed 11% a year ecommerce growth over half of the last decade with a recorded 13.5% of people buying goods online, the country's internet retailing has a total value of £77bn. Consumers are using smart phones to shop, often on the move which provides a more accessible shopping experience. Businesses are swiftly adapting their resources to become a part of this evolution, with one example being the use of QR codes that link to services and products in a successful form of convergence.

This enriched customer activity provides a practical legal challenge for data which is often processed through a company's IT stock management system. One wrong entry with a false decimal point can show incorrect data, ensuring consumers rush to take advantage of the product’s misrepresentation. The Sale of Goods act appears consumer friendly on this issue through ensuring the retailer has to sell the product for the advertised price in light of any mistake. When companies have resisted this there have been notable cases through the small claims court and the subsequently highly negative PR.

Diversifying on a Global Scale.

Ambitious businesses can in theory develop a presence in another country after a few adaptations to their site and social media marketing. Retailers can move into foreign markets with less investment, maturing the nature of business expansion. Whilst 53% of UK consumers feel comfortable purchasing from overseas businesses, there lies a challenge in understanding the rules and regulations as the range of contractual laws from member states varies significantly around consumer rights and protections.

One initiative the EU has launched is the Common EU Sales Law which could operate as a second legal and national framework for common codes of conduct and consumer rights throughout the EU. This can understandably help consumers feel safer but businesses would not be able to provide a boost to their own ambitions. Businesses can help themselves most by conducting thorough research into the relevant regulations and official institutional bodies of the country's consumer base.

Moving forward in the new media age requires innovation to ensure the shopping experience is more engaging for consumers, however it is crucial retailers introduce policies to effectively deal with communication issues between buying channels to ensure markets succeed.

Cyber Challenges for Digital Media Industries.

Botnet farms, viruses and denial of service attacks have become daily threats to governments trying to counter espionage and sabotage, with computers becoming an easy tool to manipulate markets. Whilst many attribute these attacks to target countries' intelligence and security industries, retail and entertainment products such as PlayStation have seen their services brought down by groups including a 2011 attack by the infamous Anonymous. Targeting markets which reap business capital is a highly effective operation to damage a company’s revenue streams and have a wider effect on a country's security and legal operations. Businesses need to invest in the development of web technologies that protect against intrusion and the more common forms of inception like Botnets.

Worm attacks can slow down computers, copy a user’s banks details and install software which demands the individual provides sensitive information. An association from a business or service which has provided negligence to its customers could results in the need for compensation. Although Botnet viruses are most likely to be here for the long haul as major intrusion programmes are run by hackers competing over the damage they have caused, consumers and business must continue to develop a synergy in their defence against these attacks from home installation software to ISP firewalls.

Soliciting Professional Advice.

Manchester Law Firm Pannone is one firm of solicitors who have evolved their legal presence to incorporate a specialist creative and digital media team to keep pace with the evolving technologies, and prevent the exploitation of New Media investments. Protecting your rights and brand reputation is a vital component of any business operating on the web as the content platform is subject to regular change and technological shifts.

In tandem to this change the business life cycle is likely to engage with new partnerships and coloration agreements for intellectual property and revenue streams through licencing and sponsorship. Businesses using new digital models often enter into complex advertising agreements which require media solicitors to offer practical and commercial legal solutions for digital issues including.

  • Acquisition rights agreements.
  • Copyright Protection.
  • Branding procedure and advice.
  • Production and Co-Production Agreements.
  • Merchandising and Artists Contractual Agreements.
  • CAP Media Clearance.
  • Privacy & Dispute Resolution.

If you are launching, adapting or researching the legal regulations for any of the above, it is highly recommended you solicit professional advice from a law firm or digital solicitor. 

This article was made possible by Pannone, the Manchester-based firm of solicitors.

Image courtesy of twobee/

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