– Regulation of E-Commerce & Information Technology;
Coursework January 2015 start
Online Electronics Store
An investor would like to setup a new online business located in the UK. He intends to sell both physical (computers, cameras, hard disks etc) and digitized goods (software) only to residents in the UK. Goods are to be shipped to a UK address and digitized goods are downloaded via the website.
You are hired as an E-Commerce/Internet consultant to advise on FIVE aspects (given below) of the e- Business. You are to produce a report not exceeding 8000 words (excluding references). Relevant legislation and case law from the UK/EU must be given to support your answers where appropriate. Each section is worth 20 marks. The whole coursework is worth 100 marks. Your report should contain a title page, table of contents, the five section headings as given below and a bibliography (sources and quotes used should be referenced – please cite references in the text). Use 1.5 spacing and font 12 (Times New Roman). ALL work MUST be your own. Avoid plagiarism. Do not copy and paste text from the Internet or other sources. Short passages and legislation can be quoted but they must be referenced. Any two or more coursework scripts having similar text may result in those scripts being cited for plagiarism (and given a fail grade for the whole module).
Submitting your coursework
1. First submit a final soft copy of your coursework to the software program TURNITIN on myUniHub (BIS4425 subject area) to get a TURNITIN report.
2. Print your TURNITIN report and attached it to a printed copy of your final report.
3. Also attach the coursework front cover sheet given on page 10 in your Handbook to the printed copy of your final report.
4. Submit the combined printed documents to your relevant coursework submission point. For the UK Middlesex Hendon Campus this will be at the library.
You are NOT allowed to submit draft or final copies of your work to your tutor for comments or feedback. Answers to individual questions about the coursework will be shared with the class as a whole (i.e. in the presence of all students).
BIS4425 Coursework January 2015 start
Section 1: Intellectual Property
Advise the investor on the possibility of the issues in (a) to (e) below, giving appropriate legal guidance. Indicate how an objective can be achieved where possible.
(a) Your investors would like to register a private limited company in the UK with either of the following names:
(i) Gadgets Plaza (ii) Gadgetz International
(b) They would also like to register either of the following as trade marks below in the UK as a trade mark under the class: Computer, Electrical and Scientific Products.
(i) Gadgets Plaza (ii) Gadgetz
(c) They would also like to purchase either of the following domain names
(i) www.gadgets-plaza.co.uk (ii) www.gadgetz.co.uk
(d) They would like to use some parts of recent popular songs in their online advertisements.
(e) They would like to publish weblinks on their website to various technology articles hosted on other websites.
Hint: Students may find these websites useful: https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company https://www.trademarkdirect.co.uk/
Section 2: Privacy and data protection
[5 x 4 marks = 20 marks]
Advise the investor on relevant legal issues regarding (a) to (e) below. You are to consider all possibilities where it is not clear exactly what information is involved in (a) to (e) below. Also reference any relevant sections of appropriate UK legislation in your answer.
(a) Collecting various types of information from customers without notifying the data protection commissioner.
(b) Using cookies to collect information on users’ browsing habits.
(c) Sharing customers’ names and addresses with a company contracted to deliver goods to customers, but without consent from customers.
(d) Not allowing employees to see their personal employee file and using a computer system to analyse the performance of employees to decide on who gets promotion.
(e) Requiring that customers provide details about their sexual orientation during the process of purchasing a product.
[5 x 4 marks = 20 marks]
Section 3: Advertising and marketing
(a) Design an advertisement for the business. Your advertisement should have some graphic content and words. Discuss at least three ways in which your advertisement conforms to UK advertising regulations identifying the particular regulations/laws concerned.
BIS4425 Coursework January 2015 start
(b) Advise the investor on the legality of the following marketing communications, giving explanations and quoting appropriate sections of the CAP codes or other legislation.
(i) An online advert for Coolguy cigarettes as below.
(ii) An online poster for a new electronic shaver for women, featured a picture of a young woman standing beneath an outdoor shower on a beach. She wore bikini bottoms and clasped an undone bikini top against her breasts. Text on the right of the ad above a large picture of the shaver stated “The less hair you have on your legs the dirtier you get”. Text at the bottom of the advert stated “Visit FaceBook.com/Shaveffect and get dirty this summer.”
(iii) An current advert online (see below) on a company’s website since January 2015 quoted a reduced price of a portable hard disk as “was £299 now £150”. The adverts also says “sale ends tonight”. See below.
(iv) An individual online product listing on a UK website for the Motorola i867 smartphone featured text under the heading “Specifications” stating “Performance … up to 15 hours talk time…”. Text underneath stated “Battery performance may vary depending on network conditions and configuration, and phone usage”.
[4 x 4 marks = 16 marks]
BIS4425 Coursework January 2015 start
Section 4 – Taxation
The investor has some alternative thoughts about running his business.
He would like to host his website on servers located in the UK and have only an agent in the UK who will be responsible for all UK activities on the ground such as the delivery of individual items to UK addresses. He also intends to have activities in several countries but the website will still only sell and deliver goods to UK customers. He intends to set up his VAT registered company in Berlin (Germany) and have his main office there, since this is where he has worked for most of his life. The Berlin office will be responsible for the administration of all business activities of the online business. He also intends to have a warehouse located in France, since it is between Germany and the UK, and there are very good train links between France and London. The warehouse in France will store physical goods from all over Europe and all goods will be delivered from this warehouse via Eurostar to the UK. Further the investor intends to send a German salesman twice a year to Poland to visit suppliers and to decide on 6 monthly purchase orders.
He would like advice both on liability for:
(i) Income tax in the UK, Germany, France and Poland giving reasons. [10 marks] (ii) VAT when selling (a) physical goods and (a) digitized goods to consumers. Please explain which
country’s VAT rate is used.
(iii) VAT when selling (a) physical goods and (a) digitized goods to business customers VAT registered in the UK. Please explain who accounts for VAT and how.
Section 5: Professionalism and ethics
Discuss the ethical dilemmas in the scenarios below, and using a suitable framework advise on the best course of action. Where you are uncertain about any information given you must consider any relevant possibilities and comment on them.
(a) The investor would like to use social networking and online forums to identify potential customers for marketing purposes. He would like to form a customer networking team to join various social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) and chat forums pretending to be normal users. The team will interact with people in chat rooms and on social networking sites, forming friendships and finding out information about their lifestyles as well as their personal contact details. Using the information collected, the team will send customized marketing messages to these people offering them discounts on products that they would be interested in based on their lifestyle. The investor thinks that this will help the company market their products effectively and make huge profits for the company. It would also offer a personal service to members of the public, since the products marketed to them would be
highly related to their lifestyle.
(b) The Investor is considering importing a line of electronic gadgets for sale that would result in the company making a very big profit margin on sales. The products are electronic gadgets made for adult pornographic recreational activities. The investor has already obtained an importation licence for the gadgets. Many of his company’s workers are devoted Christians and are against the company selling such products. They have communicated this to the investor. The investor thinks that the huge profits that can be gained from selling these gadgets will protect his business from closure due to many current debts. However, he does not like upsetting his workers. The investor is considering
whether to import the new gadgets.
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