EU: Prohibition on payment surcharges starting January 2018

With the adoption of the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), the EU has essentially banned surcharges for using specific payment methods. Currently, national legislators are implementing the regulation. As of January 13, 2018, most provisions stipulating additional fees for payments by bank transfer, direct debit or debit/credit card will be prohibited.

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Implementing decrees for e-sport competitions in France

Bearing in mind the huge economic and legal impacts of e-sport (representing a worldwide market of around 600 millions of dollars with a growth rate of 30% per year according to a report by French MPs dated March 2016[1]), it is not surprising that various countries try to regulate the e-sport business. Since the Digital […]

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Germany: New Draft of Guidance on Withholding Tax in the Context of Softwa...

On 17 May 2017, the German Ministry of Finance released a draft circular aimed at resolving the on-going debate on the application of withholding tax in the context of software and database licensing from foreign entities to German licensees. Game developers but also publishers outside of Germany grapple with this issue when they use German […]

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Letter from Russia: Russian Data Localization Law
February 10, 2016
We are very grateful for our readers all over Europe for sharing their views and comments on the topics we discuss in this blog. Sometimes, readers’ comments could be blog posts in their own right. We have decided to feature such comments (with the author’s consent of course) as a regular feature, the “Letter from …”. This instalment of the series comes from Vladislav Arkhipov, fellow games law blogger, of counsel at Dentons and associate professor at the Saint Petersburg State University. Vladislav summarizes the Russian Data Localization law that obliges online games operators and other service providers to host personal data of their Russian customers within Russia. Read more
Evolving standards: Fewer content-based restrictions for video games in Germany
February 4, 2016
Germany is notorious for its strict and somewhat complicated youth protection legislation. If the age ratings boards refuse a rating for a movie or game, a federal review authority (the BPjM) can step in and impose severe marketing restrictions – referred to as “indexing” – that effectively halt both physical and digital distribution. This year, however, has seen a series of decisions by those federal watchdogs that may indicate a liberalized approach to a number of issues. Read more
Spain: Crowdfunding Video Games is becoming an Investment Market
January 26, 2016
The credit austerity over the last years has limited access to “classic” credit in particular for start-up and indie video game studios in Spain. This situation has boosted the development of alternative fundraising strategies. Crowdfunding has become one of the new financing systems from the standpoint of the patronage or sponsorship, and is heavily used by the video games industry in Spain. Read more
New UK consumer protection rights for digital content
January 14, 2016
On 1 October 2015 the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”) came into force in the UK. It has been described as the biggest overhaul of consumer rights in a generation and consolidates, updates and improves UK consumer law. However, of particular interest is that for the first time in UK consumer law, the CRA expressly provides consumers with rights and remedies in relation to digital content. Read more
Safe Harbor: Practical steps to take now
January 5, 2016
Following the recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidating the adequacy of the EU-US Safe Harbor framework, the EU’s Article 29 working party has issued a formal statement in response.

The working party is composed of representatives from the national data protection authorities (DPAs) of the EU Member States, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission, so its views have been awaited with interest given that the CJEU’s decision highlighted the importance of a DPA’s assessment of the adequacy of cross-border data transfers. The European Commission has also provided remarks on the CJEU’s judgment and issued an explanatory communication on the consequences of the ruling which is consistent with the working party’s statement.

The Article 29 working party statement, along with some further communications from national DPAs, offers some practical guidance on how companies can deal with data transfers out of the EU in the future. However, the window of opportunity to implement these measures ay be closing – so steps should be taken quickly. Read more

Italian Data Protection Authority Publishes Cookie Guidelines
August 25, 2015
The Italian Data Protection Authority’s (DPA) guidelines on the use of cookie have entered into force. All operators of Italian websites must now provide certain cookie information to all users as soon as they access the site, or face substantial fines. Read more
The new German Minimum Wage Act: Challenges for the Games Industry
August 18, 2015
The introduction of the German Minimum Wage Act (MWA) on 1 January 2015 has had a big impact for Digital Business companies. Indie developers, studios and start-up companies in particular should be aware of a number of requirements and risks for anyone now hiring employees, interns and/or (purported) freelancers. Read more
French tax credit to be extended to PEGI 18+ video games
August 6, 2015
The French government has just published secondary legislation allowing developers of 18+ video games to benefit, under some conditions, from the French tax credit system to favour the creation of video games. Read more
Regulation of online and app-based games: An update from the UK
August 4, 2015
On 30 January 2014 the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published the final form of its Principles for online and app-based games. These Principles can be found here. Games businesses then had until 1 April 2015 to bring their operations into compliance with the Principles. (As it happens, 1 April 2014 was also the date when the OFT was replaced by a new agency, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA)).

During the OFT’s investigations that led to the Principles, the OFT identified a number of practices that it felt were not compliant with applicable laws and regulations. So as 1 April came and went, what happened? Read more