Digital law – José María Baños

José María Baños is the founding partner of Letslaw, a law firm specialized in digital law. They deal with all kinds of doubts and legal problems related to new technologies and the Internet since 2012, when there were hardly any offices dealing with these issues. As a pioneer in this sector, José María explains the basic concepts about digital law that most concern the average user.

We spoke with José María about the peculiarities of this branch of law, his opinion on the compliance of the law by online businesses and how the new data protection law has affected them. It also explains how to adapt our website to the RGPD and how to protect our intellectual property on the internet.

When and how do you decide to create Letslaw?

When we created Letslaw, in 2012, there were not many offices specializing in digital law that offered a quality, committed and efficient service that was close to the client. We were facing a niche market and we had to take advantage of the opportunity and give an adequate response to both large accounts and start-ups.

 

Why did you decide to specialize in new technologies and the internet?

New technologies and the Internet have given rise to a new discipline in the legal field, creating a new conceptual and legal reality that is becoming a cross-cutting issue, since all branches of law are currently affected by one or the other way by new technologies.

In the same way, new problems and conflicts arise that require an immediate response. In the digital world, everything evolves at a higher speed which makes it necessary not only to have a multidisciplinary profile but also to be available to adapt to this new environment and tools, to learn quickly and have a professional profile open to the most varied legal challenges and technology that we face in terms of new technologies and the internet.

 

“The commitment to the client and his satisfaction, the quality of the work and the good results are your best letter of presentation.” José María Baños

Funder, Letslaw

What are the peculiarities of digital law?

Although people think that the digital environment is not regulated, this is not the case. There are many rights that can be violated and that must be protected and many legal problems that may arise and that must be resolved.

The spheres that, directly or indirectly, are affected by this right are very varied such as privacy, intellectual property or security, among others. We are facing a right that has a global reach since the digital world has no borders, which leads to a legal globalization. It is a branch of law in continuous evolution, which makes it essential to keep updated as we face new legal problems related to Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain or how to regulate the economic activity of influencers.

 

In general, do you consider that most digital businesses comply with current legislation?

There is a lot of general ignorance about the current legislation applicable to digital businesses.

Although every day they are becoming more aware of the importance of being well advised and have the support of a good team of lawyers, there is still a lot of awareness and training to be done.

“Always gives more than what they expect from you” Larry Page

Cofunder, Google

How has the new data protection law affected technology companies?

The new legislation has changed the way in which entities collect, process and treat all the information they receive and allows all of them, in the European territory, to “play” with the same rules, granting more guarantees to citizens.

Although it is now a huge challenge to adapt to the new regulation and require strict compliance with the RGPD (under the threat of severe sanctions), in the long run it will offer enormous benefits since it will foster innovation and increase customer confidence and reputation with what they will see increased their income.

 

In the same way, how do you think the digital transformation has affected companies?

It is a transformation that affects all departments of a company and at all levels, but by which the strategy, work processes and organizational capabilities are improved. It is vital for companies to carry out this transformation process in a manner appropriate to their needs and characteristics, but it is a necessary transformation since it will adapt the company to the behavior and consumption habits of today’s society, which implies anticipating the needs of the company. customer and give immediate response to their demands.

 

Which recommendations would you give at a legislative level to a company that wants to start establishing itself online?

It is very important that any company that starts operating in the digital environment has a correct adaptation and implementation of its privacy policies, legal notice and cookie policy to the new General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD). The Law of Services of the Information Society (LSSI) that regulates commercial activities on the Internet, imposing both the intermediation service providers and companies that offer their products and services through the Internet, the necessary rules will apply to them. So that the use and enjoyment of the Internet and the economic activity that is developed in it is safe for Internet users.

The protection of privacy has become a matter of vital importance for companies, not only because of the important sanctions that its breach entails, but because a good privacy policy supposes a greater confidence of the clients and a greater protection and security for they.

A company that has a presence in the network will not only be affected by the electronic legislation itself, but, and depending on the commercial activity that it carries out, it will also have the same obligations as those required in the physical environment.

In this way, and depending on the specific nature of the commercial activity to which they are dedicated, they must comply with the obligations established in the Law on Intellectual Property or the General Law of Advertising or, for example, the legislation regulating gambling.

What modifications do we have to introduce in our domain to adjust to the RGPD?

The new regulations have meant the need to adapt the legal texts of the websites to their data protection requirements. In short, on the website of a company must include a legal notice that makes reference to all identifying data of the company, as well as the owner of the website.

A Privacy and data protection policy that regulates the purposes of the treatment in an individualized manner, the need for users’ consent to process certain personal data or the exercise of the rights of users with respect to their data.

On the other hand, it is essential to establish a warning and a cookie policy to obtain the informed consent of the users and offer them the possibility of deactivating those cookies that are not obligatory. In addition, if users could request their services through the website it would be necessary to include the terms and conditions of the website.

 

In Letslaw you also attend to complaints related to intellectual property. Are the most unprotected copyright in the online environment?

The digital age has undoubtedly been a great change in the way of creating, producing and sharing content subject to copyright, offering both great advantages and disadvantages.

The ease with which you can copy or disseminate information on the internet is, in many cases, the loss of control over it by the creators or owners of rights.

There is still a lack of intellectual property knowledge on the part of users who often use and share copyrighted content without being aware of the illegality of their actions and although this does not imply a greater lack of protection for copyright we have much to move forward in this regard.

 

How can we protect our creations on the internet?

The copyright is born by the mere creation of a work without the need to carry out any type of formalism. However, it is advisable to register in the Intellectual Property Registry to preconstitute evidence against third parties in the event of a content plagiarism.

The Intellectual Property legislation also offers the possibility of incorporating technological protection measures that refer to any technique, device or component that, in its normal operation, allows the right holder to prevent or restrict certain uses of the work, and in general those acts that do not have authorization from the owner.

 

What advice would you give an author who seeks to promote their works on social networks?

In the same way that it happens in any company, the promotion of works through social networks must have a good strategy that includes a plan for digital marketing, budgeting and organization and communication.

A good way to initially introduce a work, the author can use creative commons licenses and can choose the conditions of access, use and protection of his work.