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Date: 2002-10-29

ES: Knieschuss fuer den E-Kommerz

Irgendwas muss bei der Übersetzung der E-Commerce Direktive der EU "für ein sicheres Internet" ins Spanische schiefgelaufen sein. Die nationale Gesetzgebung zur totalen Sicherheit durch totale Registrierung alldort hat zur Konsequenz, dass bereits hunderte Non-Profit Websites offline gingen.Dem E-Kommerz hat der dadurch ausgelöste Wirbel logischerweise nicht gedient.
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Times have been hard for Georgeos Diaz-Montexano's online course in Egyptian hieroglyphics. One student in two years, $12 in tuition.

But Diaz-Montexano pulled the plug on what he calls the world's only
Spanish-language Egyptology site for a different reason: fears of hassle or
a hefty fine under Spain's new law regulating cyberspace.

Any Spain-based Web site that engages in commerce -- even a struggling
Egyptology site -- must now register with the government under a stringent
new law that took effect on Oct. 12.

The tough rules have prompted at least 300 Web site owners to take their
pages offline in protest, according to Kriptopolis, a digital rights and
Internet security site coordinating the campaign. It has drawn support from
online civil libertarians across Europe.


"With this law, as always, it's the little guy that gets hurt," said the
36-year-old archaeologist and historian.

His site provided free articles on ancient Egypt, and the only fee-based
component was the advanced-level continuation of a beginner's hieroglyphics

The government says the law, which stems from European Union directives,
aims to encourage online commerce by making the Internet a safer place to
do business. It wants companies operating on the Internet to be subject to
the same tax and commerce laws as traditional firms.


"This law is a huge blow to freedom of expression in Spain," said
Kriptopolis lawyer Carlos Sanchez Almeida.

In addition to being compelled to sign up with the government's mercantile
register, the law requires Web sites that carry out commercial transactions
to display a company address and tax number. The idea is to give customers
a physical place to turn if a problem arises.

Law also applies to foreign-hosted sites

The law would also apply to foreign-hosted Web sites if the people
transacting business on them are physically in Spain.

Even not-for-profit sites that take in revenue -- say, from advertising
banners -- are considered to be doing business, even if they operate at a

Full text

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2002-10-29
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