The Application of the Rome II Regulation on the Internet Torts

Anabela Susana De Sousa Gonçalves

Abstract

The internet is a global system of interconnected networks that enable the development of private relations in contact with several legal systems. Different type of torts may occur on the cybernetic space. The Regulation No 864/2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) does not have specific rules for the internet torts, but that does not make it inapplicable to them. Sometimes the application of the Rome II Regulation rules to the internet torts will not have particular features, but most of the times the global scope and flexibility of location, two of the main characteristics of the internet, require an effort of adaptation of the Rome II Regulation rules. We tried to determine which conflict-of-law rules of the Rome II Regulation may be applicable to the internet torts and how that application should be done. There are damages carried out on the internet that falls under the general rules of the Rome II Regulation (Article 4 and Article 14), that arises from an infringement of an intellectual property rights (Article 8), cases of product liability (Article 5) and damages that arises of unfair competition or acts restricting free competition (article 6). As a previous step we have determined the scope of application of the Rome II Regulation and analyzed the relation between the Rome II Regulation and the Directive on electronic commerce.

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