November 1, 2005

Claim CPD for reading Computers & Law

From February next year you will be able to transform the time you spend reading Computers & Law into CPD. This new member benefit will be available with the launch of the revamped SCL Web site, scheduled for release at the end of January 2006.

The CPD scheme will work as follows. Each issue of the magazine will include a set of questions related to the published content. The questions will also be posted online on the new Web site. All you have to do is read the latest issue, log-on to the site and answer the relevant set of questions. Your answers are marked immediately and once you have answered enough questions correctly you will have qualified for an hour of CPD. A certificate and training log will be produced for your records.

Up to six hours each year can be completed using the online service as new questions will be posted with each bi-monthly issue of the magazine. The CPD scheme is just one of the benefits that the new Web site will offer to our members. You will also be able to book and pay for events online smoothly (although a basic facility to do this has recently been made available on the current site), check and amend your membership details and change preferences for the information you receive from us. We are also seeking to improve searching and navigation round the site. A full description of the new site will be included in the next issue.

New Group: Privacy and Data Protection

The burgeoning interest in the areas where privacy meets data protection, further stimulated by the freedom of information developments and the ongoing public interest, has led to the formation of a new SCL Interest Group. The SCL Privacy and Data Protection Group is still in the process of being formalised but readers should watch for announcements on the SCL Web site so as to register their interest.

Conference Places

The 5th Annual SCL Conference IT Project Procurement & Outsourcing: The Successful Customer/Supplier Marriage has clearly greatly appealed to SCL members and only a handful of places remain as we go to press. But you can find out if there are still places available by e-mailing Caroline Gould at caroline.gould@scl.org. Full details of the Conference are available on the SCL site. It is to be held in Oxford on 11 and 12 November and includes presentations from many leading IT lawyers.

Unique News on the SCL Web Site

Many SCL members continue to miss out on items that must really matter to them. I was reminded of this fact by an enquiry about the Clearsprings v BusinessLinx case: was this to be covered in this issue of the magazine? The answer was that it was old news – and that a report had been posted on the Web site on 6 August. But it threw a sharp light on the fact that not all SCL members are aware that there is unique material on the Web site which never makes it into the magazine. Current examples include the reports on the Kazaa ruling in Australia and on the General Optical Council’s prosecution of e-Bay – the latter is of particular interest to me because of our recent coverage of consumer protection issues in the e-commerce context and has I suspect much wider significance than has generally been realised.


Finally, a call to think about pornography. The Home Office is asking for reponses to its proposals on criminalising the possession of extreme pornography by 2 December. Whatever one’s view of the principles, there is a real need for sensible reactions which are actually informed by an understanding of the Internet and the evidential and jurisdictional problems which are associated with it. The Home Office does address these issues but I suspect that the political pressures to be seen to do something about may encourage those responsible to turn a blind eye to some of the difficulties. Do log on and respond if you feel that you can make a constructive comment. Further details and a link are available on the SCL site.