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Intellectual Property: Cyberlaw & the Internet

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Cyberlaw & the Internet

Cyberlaw refers to the group of legal issues arising with the use of communications technologies that create cyberspace or the Internet. These issues include intellectual property (primarily copyright and trademarks), privacy, free speech and the appropriate exercise of jurisdiction and authority over transactions and communications in cyberspace. Cyberlaw or Internet law has developed in the ongoing effort to apply current law and legal principles to activities on the Internet.

Although internet urls and content can originate and exist anywhere in the world, there is no uniform, international law that applies to activities in cyberspace. Where Internet users and the computer server hosting a transaction are in different countries, problems arising from that relationship are generally a matter of conflicts of law. This is also true where the contents of a web site are legal in the host [...]

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Cyberlaw refers to the group of legal issues arising with the use of communications technologies that create cyberspace or the Internet. These issues include intellectual property (primarily copyright and trademarks), privacy, free speech and the appropriate exercise of jurisdiction and authority over transactions and communications in cyberspace. Cyberlaw or Internet law has developed in the ongoing effort to apply current law and legal principles to activities on the Internet.

Although internet urls and content can originate and exist anywhere in the world, there is no uniform, international law that applies to activities in cyberspace. Where Internet users and the computer server hosting a transaction are in different countries, problems arising from that relationship are generally a matter of conflicts of law. This is also true where the contents of a web site are legal in the host country but illegal in a country that asserts its jurisdiction to block access to the site. Consequently, students interested in cyberlaw should not only take internet and general IP courses, but also Conflicts of Law and international law courses to understand the various legal systems that may govern this area.

As with other IP industries, knowing something about internet technology can be just as important as understanding the client’s business objectives. Practitioners suggest that students with no scientific or technical background will benefit from some exposure to the vocabulary and recent developments in the industry. Although they need not become technically proficient in the discipline to become a good transactional attorney or litigator, it is very useful to develop some understanding of how scientists and engineers approach problems.

 
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