Safe Harbors

News & Analysis as of

FTC Approves iKeepSafe Program as COPPA Safe Harbor

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved iKeepSafe as a self-regulatory "safe harbor" program under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC's COPPA Rule requires, among other things, that online...more

IRS Seeking Comments on Business Hardship Rules for Safe Harbor Defined Contribution Plans

The IRS is seeking comments on rules that permit sponsors of 401(k) plans to reduce or suspend safe harbor contributions in the middle of the plan year. As we wrote in a previous alert, under rules issued in November of 2013,...more

Comments on SBA's Proposed Rule Regarding Advisory Small Business Size Decisions

Re: Comments on Proposed Rule Regarding Advisory Small Business Size Decisions RIN: 3245-AG59, Docket Number: SBA-2014-7 - Dear Mr. Koppel: We are writing to submit comments regarding the U.S. Small Business...more

IRS Comments on its PTC Start of Construction Guidance

On August 20, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) held a webinar to discuss Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-46, which clarified the rules for wind projects to be grandfathered for production tax credit...more

Consumer Protection Organization Petitions FTC To Enforce U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework

On August 14, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) announced that it filed a complaint with the FTC claiming that 30 U.S. companies are compiling, using, and sharing EU consumers’ personal information without their...more

COPPA’s “Safe Harbor” Grows with FTC’s Approval of iKeepSafe’s Self-Regulating Framework

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it approved iKeepSafe’s Safe Harbor Program application, allowing the company’s self-regulating framework to serve as a safe harbor under the Children’s Online Privacy...more

Accepting Rollover Contributions Now Easier - and Less Risky - For Retirement Plans

The administrative burden of determining the validity of rollover contributions to qualified retirement plans, and the associated risk of jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status, traditionally has been a significant...more

Commission Tightens Rules of Exemption Under the EU De Minimis Safe Harbor

On June 25, 2014, the European Commission (Commission) adopted revised rules on agreements of minor importance which do not appreciably restrict competition (the so-called “De Minimis Notice”) and providing a safe harbor from...more

Monthly Benefits Update - July 2014

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

Lower Burden for Wholesalers to Prove Revenue from Resellers

As a general matter, a wholesale provider may meet the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) reasonable expectation standard and establish revenue from resellers in one of two ways: (1) follow all of the guidance in the...more

Is Your Purchaser Accredited? Clarifications from the SEC

Under Rule 506(c), companies can now engage in a general solicitation in conducting private placements but if they do so, they must verify that each purchaser is accredited. The SEC has provided some safe harbors for...more

Massachusetts Adds “Borrower’s Interest” Safe Harbor For QM Loans

Recently, the Massachusetts Division of Banks published final amendments to its regulation concerning documentation and determination of borrower’s interest to establish an additional safe harbor for any home loan that meets...more

SEC Issues Interpretive Advice About Verification Safe Harbors Under Rule 506(c)

The availability of the private placement exemption under SEC Rule 506 depends in large measure upon determinations that purchasers are “accredited investors” under the rules. Where there is no general solicitation, Rule...more

International Safe Harbor Privacy Compliance: What You Need to Know

Since early 2014, the Federal Trade Commission has charged at least fourteen U.S. businesses in varying industries, from fashion to telecommunications, for falsely claiming to participate in the US – EU Safe Harbor privacy....more

Noteworthy Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Regarding E-Discovery

The proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”) we have all been waiting for have finally been approved by the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (“Standing Committee”). Before these...more

SEC Provides New C&DIs on Verifying Accredited Investor Status

In early July, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance issued several new interpretations (at 255.48-49 and 260.35-38) (C&DI) relating to the verification of “accredited investor” status...more

Senate Finance Committee Considering Measure to Largely Repeal IRC Section 530 Safe Harbor for Most Businesses Using Independent...

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D.Ohio) reintroduced the “Fair Playing Field Act,” S.1706, in November 2013. The bill, which first appeared in 2010 under then-Senator John Kerry’s sponsorship, purports to close an ostensible loophole in...more

“Oh right. . . THAT thing!” Designated Agent Required Prior To DMCA Copyright Infringement Safe Harbor

The recent case of Oppenheimer v. Allvoices is, if nothing else, a cautionary tale for everyone who wants to start the next big social networking site or provide any internet service with user-generated content. The moral is...more

HB 663 - Legal Zoom tries to get a safe toehold in NC

Amending the Practice of Law - On Thursday the Senate Judiciary I committee approved a bill that amends Chapter 84-2.1 regarding the practive of law. Chairman Goolsby proposed the new language which creates a safe...more

U.S. Steps Up Efforts to Make “Safe Harbor Safe Again” – FTC, Justice Department Work to Keep EU Happy and Avoid Pull Back from...

Within the span of two days, both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced initiatives meant to assuage the European Union’s concerns over trans-Atlantic data flows and to secure...more

Court Holds That DMCA Safe Harbors Do Not Extend to Infringement Prior to Designation of Agent

The safe harbor provisions in § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provide a mechanism that insulates online service providers from monetary damages for infringing materials posted or stored by their users....more

OSPs: Are You Sure You Are Safely Within the DMCA Safe Harbor?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), signed into law October 28, 1998, added Section 512 to the US Copyright Act limiting the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement. Basically, the law...more

In Final Guidance, IRS Broadens General Welfare Safe Harbors for Tribal Programs - New Guidance Provides Planning Opportunities...

After receiving more than 120 written comments on how the IRS should apply the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs, the IRS has issued final guidance detailing how tribal programs may take advantage...more

VA Issues ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Definition for VA Guaranteed or Insured Loans

On May 9, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued an interim final rule defining a qualified mortgage (QM) for VA insured and guaranteed loans. Under the proposed rule, all purchase money origination loans and...more

Storm Clouds Continue to Gather Over Bankruptcy Code’s Safe Harbors

As noted in a previous Sutherland Legal Alert, the American Bankruptcy Institute has formed a Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 (the Commission). To further its goal of proposing changes to modernize the Bankruptcy...more

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