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International Group Seeks Rational Rules for e-Business

July 16, 1999
New York, USA and Montreal, Canada

The Internet Law & Policy Forum (ILPF) announces its annual conference, JURISDICTION: BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN A BORDERLESS MEDIUM to be held in Montreal, Canada on July 26-27.

The ILPF will convene an international slate of legal and policy experts to take an in-depth comparative view of jurisdictional rules including the rules specific to cross border electronic communications and transactions. In this unique event, international experts will have an opportunity to examine basic legal concepts, policy considerations, and practical solutions on a global basis.

Confirmed speakers include the Honorable Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the U.S.; Ms. Margot Froehlinger, Head of Unit, EU Commission legal expert on e-commerce matters; Kaye Caldwell, Public Policy Director, CommerceNet; Ron Plesser, Partner, Piper & Marbury; Francis Gurry, Assistant Director General and Legal Counsel to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); Professor Ishiguro, noted expert on the conflict of laws from Tokyo University; Andrew Pincus, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Scott Blackmer, Partner, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.

Noting the importance of this year's conference, ILPF Executive Director Ruth Day said, "The growth of electronic commerce has raised uncertainties. The Internet offers an efficient medium for global electronic business and can contribute significantly to economic growth. At the same time, the borderless nature of the medium creates new challenges to governments' territorial-based powers. Buyers and sellers want to know whether traditional legal protections apply to reach a party which does not live up to its commercial obligations even if that party is in another country. Governments want to know what impact these cross border transactions will have on fundamental powers, most notably to raise tax and tariff revenue and to guard citizens against harm."

Stakeholders, including business, consumer representatives and governments themselves, have begun actively to propose a variety of solutions. "Inconsistent national or regional solutions will only compound the uncertainty and may create barriers to international trade." observed Mr. Masanobu Katoh, ILPF chair and representative of ILPF member Fujitsu Limited. "The legal rules of national jurisdiction are at the very root of the discussions. A close look at how the rules work in the context of the Internet is the first step towards a rational, effective legal framework for global e commerce," Mr. Masanobu Katoh added.

Further information is available on the ILPF's web site, www.ilpf.org.

Press Contact:
Ruth Day, Executive Director, ILPF
+1.212.447.4809 rday@ilpf.org

About ILPF

The ILPF is an international, non-profit organization established in 1995 by companies with a common interest in fostering the growth of electronic commerce and communications worldwide. ILPF, the voice and resource of the practicing Internet business lawyer, strives to bridge the gap between existing law and that needed to foster the development of global electronic commerce and communications by examining the legal and policy implications. Its members include twenty-four companies, many of them global, with a stake in the growth of electronic commerce and communications. Members include: America Online, AT&T, Bell Canada, British Telecom, CertCo, Citigroup, CyberCash, Inc., Deutsche Telekom AG, EDS, Europay International S.A., Fujitsu Limited, GE Information Services, General Magic, GTE Internetworking, Hong Kong Telecom, IBM, MasterCard International, Microsoft Corp., Nifty Corporation, Oracle Corp., Schlumberger-Omnes, Telus Corporation, Visa International and Warburg Dillon Read, a division of UBS AG.

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