Author:Chris Reed
Chris Reed
by Chris Reed
© 2020 Chris Reed
Everybody may disseminate this ar ticle by electronic m eans and make it available for downloa d under the terms and
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Recommended citation: Chris Re ed, Editorial, 11 (2020) JIPITEC 1 para 1.
This edition goes to press during the Covid-19
crisis, and it has been fascinating to see how fast
and effectively the world has switched many of its
activities to digital technologies. Along with the
successes there have, of course, been legal problems,
and these will provide material for this and other
journals for years to come.
2 E-commerce was an important technology to cope
with the temporary closure of bricks and mortar
shops, and there can be no doubt that its success
in keeping households supplied with many of
their needs will accelerate the move of consumer
shopping online.
Here in the UK, at least, the initial problems with
online food shopping were almost entirely caused by
physical logistics bottlenecks, such as shortages of
delivery vehicles and drivers, and both supermarkets
and the pure online players such as Amazon have
been quick to upgrade their offerings. No major legal
issues involving this kind of e-commerce have so
far come to light. But the long-term competition
law implications of increasing centralisation of
e-commerce are likely to be ripe for investigation.
And new sectors of the economy have moved into
e-commerce as a response to the pandemic. The
European Monitoring Centre for for Drugs and
Drugs Addiction found in its special report of May
202, COVID-19 and drugs: Drug supply via darknet
markets, that the retail supply of illegal drugs had
substantially transferred to online selling via the
dark web.
4 For online communications technologies the story
     
days of lockdown, technologies such as Zoom and
Microsoft Teams, and cloud technologies for hosting
applications and data for remote access, won high
praise as businesses rapidly set up remote working
and universities transitioned to online teaching.
The effectiveness of remote working has reportedly
surprised many businesses, and it seems unlikely
        
improvements. However, within weeks problems
  
by competitors. These have now been remedied via
upgrades, but have highlighted some of the legal
and regulatory risks which digital security has to
its cloud services to meet demand and was forced to
prioritise those customers running essential services
by downgrading the service to others, which raises
contractual issues. As these technologies become
further embedded into commercial activity, other
questions like data location are largely being ignored
because the immediate need is to keep operations
working, but they will have to be addressed sooner
rather than later.
Entertainment has been hard hit, with cinemas,
theatres and bars likely to be closed (at least for
       
Amazon rapidly took up the slack for movies, and
this has inspired the major movie studios to enhance
their direct online offerings. There is currently
a dispute between Universal Studios and AMCE
Entertainment, one of the largest movie theatre
chains, over Universal’s plans to release new movies
simultaneously in theatres and online, breaking the
current business model. Competition lawyers will
  
and live theatre have both moved online, streaming
both live and recorded performances. This creates
an interesting research topic, as the framework

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