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Hi, here is your weekly round-up of highlights from Out-Law News. As always, there are plenty of other stories from this week. You can also access our archive of weekly emails.

This week's news on Out-Law.com

TMT & Sourcing & Intellectual Property

EU Commission will clarify website notice and takedown procedures

The European Commission will clarify the procedures for taking down and blocking access to illegal content after complaints that the rules were unclear and resulted in illegal content staying online for too long, it has said.

ICANN opens application process for new 'top-level' domains

The organisation that oversees the addressing system for websites will consider applications for new domains submitted from today.

MPs express concern over unitary patent proposals

A plan for an EU-wide patent could lead to inconsistent decisions and high legal costs, a committee of MPs has warned.

Scottish authorities should be given more time to pursue FOI evaders, says outgoing watchdog

Authorities should have at least double the time they currently do to bring prosecutions against people who amend official records to prevent material being released under freedom of information (FOI) laws, the outgoing Scottish Information Commissioner has said.

Public should be informed whenever phone-tracking technology is used, says expert

The public should be informed when a building or facility operator uses systems to track the location and movements of mobile phones, a data privacy expert has said.

Amazon obtains patent for 'one-click' payment method in Canada

The Canadian Patent Office has granted online retail giant Amazon a patent for a 'one-click' payment method for processing transactions, according to reports.


Nearly one third of businesses might terminate contracts early to avoid Agency Workers Regulations, recruiters claim

Nearly one third of businesses which take on temporary staff and contractors are expected to end contracts early to avoid new laws giving those workers the same employment and working conditions as permanent staff, according to a poll of recruitment companies.


Smart meter technology is privacy intrusive, researchers claim

Researchers have said that they have intercepted unencrypted smart meter data and used it to uncover details that represent an intrusion into user privacy. 11/01/2012


Government must do more to address PFI funding concerns says Treasury Committee

Proposed changes to the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) do not fully address concerns that it is being used as a way of keeping the cost of major infrastructure projects off the Government's balance sheet, an influential committee of MPs has said.

HS2 legislation should be passed more quickly, says expert

The Government should not delay new laws to allow a 32 billion national high speed rail network to go ahead, an infrastructure law expert has said.


Banks will be allowed to dip into liquidity reserves during financial difficulties, says international banking committee

Banks will be allowed to go below new minimum liquidity levels set by global regulators in times of particular financial difficulty, a group of international banking supervisors has announced.


Government must do more for recycling to avoid material shortages, manufacturers say

The Government must develop a more "ambitious" approach to waste management in order to tackle the shortage of materials that the manufacturing industry sees as its biggest threat, the industry has said.

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