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Lesson 7 Jurisdiction
ObjectiveDescribe the jurisdictional issues in electronic publishing.

electronic Publishing Jurisdictional Issues

Jurisdictional issues are another legal area for EP. Some estimates contend that U.S. based corporations are losing $60 billion annually because of intellectual property infringement. As a result, the U.S. government, along with other countries, is trying to achieve a global standard for intellectual property law.

Resolving jurisdictional issues

As computer crime proliferates, computer thieves disperse around the globe. Catching these thieves is often thwarted by international borders. Laws are territorial; they can only be applied within the jurisdiction of the body that issued them. Jurisdictional issues are difficult enough to resolve within a country, and more difficult across international borders.

Issues of international jurisdiction.
Issues of international jurisdiction

The "minimum contacts" requirement

The U.S. Constitution requires that for one state's court to have jurisdiction over a nonresident party, that party must have had "minimum contacts" with the court's state. An important element of "minimum contacts" is that the nonresident "purposely established" contacts and "created continuing relationships and obligations with the citizens of another state."

How does "minimum contacts" work on the Internet?

How do these jurisdictional issues work on the Internet, where the participating parties may not come in physical contact? Interestingly, the courts have held that physical presence is not a prerequisite for jurisdiction. That is, under particular circumstances, Internet presence alone can be sufficient to grant jurisdiction to a nonresident.
To protect a site against lawsuits from other states, do not advertise that products are available nationwide if some jurisdictions could be expected to consider them illegal. The next lesson wraps up this module.