Several regulations setting maximum levels for interchange fees have entered the legal system recently. It is already clear that these regulations are having a major impact on the market, causing some enterprises to revise their business model. An interesting issue from the point of view of the law of new technologies is whether these regulations are technologically neutral, or apply only to a selected group of payment instruments.
Can internet service providers be ordered to block a specific website?
Blocking websites has recently become a popular method for combating legal violations, particularly in the context of copyright protection. It’s enough to glance at the rulings from the last few months. In late May a court in Tel Aviv ordered Israeli ISPs to block access to a service where films and TV shows could be viewed without the consent of the copyright holders using the BitTorrent protocol. This followed in the trail of the English High Court, which less than a month earlier issued a very similar injunction. And shortly thereafter the same court order British ISPs to block access to portals offering e-books without authorisation.
Poland’s first clearinghouse for cash-free payments was established in 1990. In 1991 the first payment cards for individual clients were issued in Poland. The history of cash-free trade in this country now goes back over a quarter-century. But one of the key Polish regulations governing money—the Foreign Exchange Law—has not kept pace with the evolution of the forms in which money is used, but remains fixed in times when the dominant form of money was cash. There are many signs that this state of affairs may soon change.
It is often said that the law cannot keep up with the pace of a changing reality, particularly technological progress. This is evident for example in the rules for representation of businesses, which are poorly adapted to online transactions. Fortunately the courts approach this problem with understanding.
Bitcoin opened up a spectrum of possibilities and a legal Pandora’s Box. But block chain—the technology on which Bitcoin is based—generates even greater potential and further legal challenges.
New regulations and interpretations will soon have an impact on equity- and debt-based crowdfunding business models.
Investment crowdfunding (understood to mean equity-based and debt-based crowdfunding) currently enjoys great regulatory leeway due to the lack of regulations specifically addressed to the crowdfunding market. But some current and planned regulations may impede its growth. Recent regulatory proposals as well as interpretations could significantly change the current shape of the market, creating both incentives and barriers for participants.