Internet law is a new and growing field. The U.S. Congress is moving slowly and cautiously, avoiding broad legislation that may produce unforeseen consequences.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in 1996 that given the "changes taking place in the law, the technology, and the industrial structure related to telecommunications,
we believe it is unwise and unnecessary to definitively pick one analogy or one specific set of words."
The courts will move slowly in providing guidance on Internet issues. Part of the reason is that for most parties involved (judges and lawyers),
the Internet represents an unknown that they are attempting to map according to known rules of law. Many believe that a series of lower court decisions will precede significant U.S. Supreme Court action by at least five years.
Having completed this module, you should be able to:
Explain how the law affects e-commerce and the Internet
Identify Internet issues that may present legal challenges
Describe how legal issues such as jurisdiction, copyright, and patents apply to software
Identify what constitutes intellectual property and how to protect it
Copyright:Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.
The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writin
Electronic publishing (EP)
Trademark:A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among nations, and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.
E-Commerce and the Internet are borderless, and it has been postulated that technology will decide what solutions are adopted in cyberspace.
In the next module, you will learn about the key technologies and services underlying e-commerce solutions.