back to article Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Uber is really a transport company, not an internet company, in official advice given to the European Court of Justice. If it's followed by the court, the opinion will have significant impact on horizontally integrated platforms operating in Europe that present themselves as intermediaries and thus bypass many regulations. …

But

Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits?

4
11

Re: But

Well, no, they are cakes, in the UK at least, under the LON/91/0160 decision of the VAT tribunal.

22
1
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: But

Cakes go hard, biscuits go soft.

26
1
Silver badge
Flame

Re: But

"Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits?"

Oh for f**ks sake don't start that again.

16
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: But

Yes there cakes hence why not called Jaffa Biscuits

6
3
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: But

Is that a cake or a meringue?

(I suspect only a small portion of the readership will get this)

8
0
Silver badge

Re: But

> Is that a cake or a meringue?

No yer right, it's a cake.

7
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: But

What portion of the readership is Scottish?

2
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: But

Is that a cake or a meringue?

Yes.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: But

Fancy that .....

I'm a cake when an attractive woman appears but a biscuit when she walks on by.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: But

Why has this "Yes there cakes hence why not called Jaffa Biscuits" got down votes? It seems a perfectly sensible, and very El Reg type comment. Unless it's the use of "there" instead of "they're"...

1
1
Silver badge

Re: But

Maybe the DV's from us Americans? We don't know the difference between what you chaps call "biscuits" (I thought they're cookies in the States), cakes, or meringues.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: But

> I'm a cake when an attractive woman appears

That's probably the most successful way to make them fancy you. :-)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: But

Cake or death?

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: But

> Cake or death?

She might want you to drop dead, but she still won't fancy you if you do. On the other hand she might fancy cake. :-)

1
2
Silver badge

Re: But

We don't know the difference between what you chaps call "biscuits" (I thought they're cookies in the States)

No - their biscuits are more akin to our scones (except usually, not sweet and more stodgy).

Their dish "biscuits and gravy" is sort of like a cross between dumplings and scones in a gravy meat sauce.

1
0
Silver badge

Cakes or biscuits?

You're still on that? According to XKCD it's the definition of a sandwich which is where it's at.

0
0

Finally some common sense

Why has it taken so long to declare Uber a taxi service, it is CLEARLY a taxi service. You use the app to hail a car that picks you up from point A to point B, this isn't a coworker picking you up (ride-sharing), there is a monetary transfer for the service of transportation and that car wasn't going to make that journey if you didn't order it. Now as Uber is a taxi company, all Uber drivers should be required to have the relevant licenses/permits for being taxi drivers for the relevant country. Yes this will drive Uber prices up, this is because they are using drivers who should not be taxi drivers to push prices down and undersell local and legal taxi companies/operators.

118
2
Silver badge

Re: Finally some common sense

Only way I could see it not being a taxi company was if taxi companies could use Uber to get bookings. Which they can't. And Uber didn't employee its own drivers. Which it does.

44
1
Silver badge

Re: Finally some common sense

Seem to be unnecessarily complicated arguments. Surely it's simple - a taximeter cabriolet uses a meter to calculate the charge paid to the 'cabbie' by the passenger. Uber calculates a fare using an electronic meter (to work out miles x rate) and a clock meter to calculate the time charge. Plus extras. The fact the meter uses electrons rather than cogs really doesn't change anything. Very few Uber vehicles are horse-drawn these days either, which is what a cabriolet originally was.

Oh yes, and 'hailing' a cab with a programme on a phone isn't fundamentally different to waving your umbella at the side of the street.

If it quacks like a...

I'm amazed they've been able to get away with this for so long. One is minded to wonder whether they have felt the need to 'employ' any local politicians.

28
1

Re: Finally some common sense

Yes clearly Uber is a taxi service. Their problem is they want to be a taxi service without abiding by any of the rules or regulations that govern being a taxi service - criminal background checks for drivers, fare tariffs, limits on number of licenced cars on the road, vehicle safety checks, adequate insurance, employment benefits, other regulations governing public transportation.

So they want to pretend they're basically just a hookup service between people who want a lift and people prepared to give them a lift.

I'm glad they're losing. They should abide by the rules laid down for taxis or gtfo.

59
1

Re: Finally some common sense

Their problem is they want to be a taxi service without abiding by any of the rules or regulations that govern being a taxi service - criminal background checks for drivers, fare tariffs, limits on number of licenced cars on the road, vehicle safety checks, adequate insurance, employment benefits, other regulations governing public transportation.

Don't forget that all the drivers must already adhere to standards - at least in the UK they need to be licensed.

So the question as to whether "Uber is a hail-a-cab (taxi) service" or "Uber is a minicab (private hire vehicle) service" is a side issue here. In both cases the drivers themselves *are* regulated and licensed, albeit under different regulations.

What the legal opinion seems to be saying is that if you contact Uber, ask for a ride, and pay them, then Uber is providing some sort of transportation service, not an introduction agency. This seems a rare and remarkable victory for common sense.

27
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Finally some common sense

>I'm amazed they've been able to get away with this for so long. One is minded to wonder whether they have felt the need to 'employ' any local politicians.

It's not about politicians; it's about lawyers and they absolutely love this shit. The application of law isn't based on right and wrong; it's based on the statute and the precedent set by past cases.

In this case there isn't a law that says you're not allowed to start an internet company which provides taxi services. There are plenty of laws which state that if you start a taxi company you have to abide by the law set for taxi companies. Uber's defence is that they aren't a taxi company and this is what is being challenged.

Now of course, this is the first time this has happened so there are no past cases to reference, which is why this has ultimately been progressed up through the various levels of courts to the ECJ.

Once a ruling has been made, and assuming there are no further avenues for appeal, this will become the test case and will hopefully set the bar for internet companies providing a service and pretending that they're not.

What I struggle to understand is why this is any different from a drug overlord saying I never touched any of the drugs and all the money I got was gifts from people who liked me. But the law is very specific and it's always possible to argue that two examples aren't the same. It's what lawyers do.

13
1
Silver badge

Re: Finally some common sense

Why has it taken so long to declare Uber a taxi service

Lobbying. That is a polite way of describing it.

9
1

Re: Finally some common sense

Couldn't agree more, and as a taxi service that it very clearly is, should be subject to all the regulation and conform to the public protections that other taxi services abide by.

Good 1 Evil 0

4
1
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Finally some common sense

So they want to pretend they're basically just a hookup service between people who want a lift and people prepared to give them a lift.

So they're saying that they are basically pimps then but use free-lancers instead of "owned".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Finally some common sense

Only way I could see it not being a taxi company was if taxi companies could use Uber to get bookings. Which they can't.

That's not quite true. Uber does cut dispatching deals with local taxi companies when it suits them. For example in Berlin, where uber's usual racket is verboten, using a uber app to call for a ride will get you a regular taxi. The price will be the regular taxi fare, plus couple of euros on top going to uber for dispatching your request.

I can see where a visitor might find this a good deal - the local taxi companies apps do exist, but are rather crap, while calling for a taxi over the phone may be problematic if your german is none too good plus you do not quite know where you are and how to get where you want to be (Berlin has a lot of streets with identical names in different parts of the city, so you better remember either the postcode or the distruct name!)

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Finally some common sense

Interesting. I didn't know they ran that model. Blurs the lines.

0
0

Re: Finally some common sense

Denmark KO'ed Uber recently for being a taxi company and incompatible with the latest revision of the taxi law (which might have been a stitch up, I wasn't following too closely).

http://www.dr.dk/nyheder/penge/uber-lukker-i-danmark

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Finally some common sense

"Don't forget that all the drivers must already adhere to standards - at least in the UK they need to be licensed."

In the US, taxi drivers must have a commercial license with an an endorsement for carrying passengers. They must also hold commercial insurance as all private insurance policies do not cover any commercial transportation activities.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Next you'll be telling me Snap isn't a "Camera company", and North Korea isn't a "democratic people's republic".

21
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Any country name with the words 'People' and 'Democratic' means exactly the opposite. There are/were more than just NK...

20
0

"Any country name with the words 'People' and 'Democratic' means exactly the opposite."

Does this also apply to countries with "great" in them?

9
1

And to "United" right now...

11
1
Silver badge

Re: countries with "great" in them?

This provides the answers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

1
0
Silver badge

"And to "United" right now..."

Which side of the pond are you on. Oh wait. . .

0
0

I am really...

going to miss the common sense rulings the EU have provided in many areas of life and business; I hate to think what protections we are going to lose in human rights, consumer rights and environmental issues in a couple of years - I don't trust any of our politicians to give a damn about non-law makers.

63
6
Silver badge
Coat

Re: I am really...

Are you moving to USA, or live in UK?

5
4
Silver badge

Re: I am really...

It's not that politicians don't give a damn about non-law makers, it's that they do give several damns about their rich friends and supporters, who are pissed off by having to be nice to butterflies, not pour shit in the river, and give servants holidays and wages.

And when it comes to polling day, the little sheep read the Daily Heil and go and do as they're told again.

When will it sink in to people's minds that voting Tory is a mortal sin, and anyone who does will burn in the fires of hell for all eternity?

48
14
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am really...

"When will it sink in to people's minds that voting Tory is a mortal sin"

I don't think Labour are any better, just those involved with Greenpeace, PETA and CND will be beneficiaries, not the general public.

Choose the party* least likely to screw you over and vote for them.

*Why the hell most people still choose the same old pair, especially for local elections, then moan constantly about them is beyond me. IMO if we banned political parties and only had independents, things may be a whole lot better.

24
2
Anonymous Coward

Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

If you fall for the Tory/Labour tribalism, you are the problem. They are all liar politicians, I'm with the ancient Greeks (IIRC), those that seek public office should be barred from public office.

21
1
Coat

Voting tactically might be a mistake

It's worth commenting on the whole "vote tactically" debate.

Tactics only look to the short term, strategy looks at the longer term and that's where we should be looking if we want to live in a competitive economy in a dog-eat-dog world.

Remember - if you vote tactically you might win the battle. If you vote strategically you will win the war

7
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am really...

"I don't think Labour are any better, just those involved with Greenpeace, PETA and CND will be beneficiaries, not the general public."

Pen-y-gors would have had an upvote from me, until that last paragraph, trying to make out that all other parties are somehow more saintly than the Tories.

Having worked alongside an RMT rep at a part-public, part-private owned transport concern, the people who will be even greater beneficiaries will be RMT reps. The person in question already used paid working hours to go to political events that weren't about transport, but no-one dared complain: I can't see Mr Corbyn moving to stop that kind of thing, any more than I can see UKIP moving to force people to repay any funds accepted from the EU while fighting against it.

9
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Voting tactically might be a mistake

>Remember - if you vote tactically you might win the battle. If you vote strategically you will win the war

Fuck that. If voting tactically helps prevent the old cunts salting the earth for future generations while they continue to live in their big houses on their fat pensions then I'm voting tactically.

17
7
Silver badge

Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

Then how do they find proper candidates without interfering with their lives? Pulling a farmer from his fields or some other worker from the job he/she depends on to sustain a living is generally seen as a Bad Thing. What options do you have when the ONLY people willing to take on the job ARE those who seek public office?

3
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Voting tactically might be a mistake

"Remember - if you vote tactically you might win the battle. If you vote strategically you will win the war"

Not necessarily. Don't forget the old phrase "missing the forest for the trees." You actually need to vote BOTH strategically AND tactically at the same time because ignoring either one could make you lose the war (because giving up in the short-term could render the long-term goal unreachable). That's one reason long-term voting in legislatures is so difficult. The short-term pain it could entail could result in the government being voted out: a practical example of a short-term loss undoing a long-term goal.

7
2
Silver badge

Re: I am really...

@Pen-y-gors

"When will it sink in to people's minds that voting Tory is a mortal sin, and anyone who does will burn in the fires of hell for all eternity?"

I should have clarified - voting Tory is a MORTAL sin, voting Labour (or at least for the least bad candidates) is only a VENAL sin, still worthy of quite a few years in Purgatory. Obviously UKippers are damned in this world as well, and LibDems? Write out fifty times "I must not waste my vote". Those nice Greens though, and SNP and PC, well, go straight to Heaven, do not pass Go.

9
11
Silver badge

Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now? (@ Charles 9)

"What options do you have when the ONLY people willing to take on the job ARE those who seek public office?"

A well designed Demarchy would fit here.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now? (@ Charles 9)

Isn't that an oxymoron, though, which is why it's never happened for very long in recorded history?

0
0

Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

In response to criticism that electoral candidates don't represent the population, some UK political parties offer support to those who have families and lives to get on with. I'd go so far as to say that all mainstream parties know that candidates in target seats struggle; a number of presumed candidates have already pulled out.

Standing for election in a hopeless seat is a demanding job. When in a winnable seat, it's ten times worse. Candidates are expected to be available immediately for the press and party, and to be business co-owners, co-workers, parents and carers. As I wrote earlier, parties are aware of the dilemma and some people try to ease the load.

It is a lot easier for a lad or lass with no big responsibilities to stand as an MP. But we may be better served by those who struggled -- with help from friends.

4
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018