22 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 7, 2011
A web address usually begins www. This prefix embodies an important concept; that Internet is a world wide application. It involves international protocols and conventions as well as state and national legislation. A Cyberlaw student needs to be aware of online jurisdiction rules that apply to local and cross border transactions. Lapses in choice of law and forum in contracting can land an e-commerce vendor in a foreign jurisdiction that may be outside of the shores of the India.
The factors that are driving Internet applications include the expanding global communication networks, the expansion of global online markets, and the emerging of business models that provide access to the global market. Business strategies have evolved from the bricks and mortar retail establishments, and catalog outlets into electronic business transactions that run the full cycle from procurement of raw materials, to processing and distribution of manufactured goods, to order fulfillment systems and international payment processes via electronic funds transfer systems.
In addition to the international sale of goods, there is a blossoming of electronic services that were previously only available through hard line links to service providers. Internet retailing, banking, and data exchange now flow over computer grids and satellite systems. Deals are closed not with a handshake, but with an exchange of private keys.
Internal business communications are conducted over networks connecting company employees to homes and offices worldwide. Electronic mail, file transfer, image senders, video-conferencing and other workflow are accomplished between remote sites that need to be secure.
Cyberspace is the complete value chain that links suppliers, producers, retailers, and customers. Companies that do not plan to enter the e-Commerce arena themselves, still have to deal with clients and customers whose only presence will be in the form of full-service electronic storefronts. These companies will have to adjust their strategic plan to include electronic media in their businesses. Understanding the novel legal issues that arise in relation to, the Internet, electronic commerce and on-line services, as well as the laws and jurisdictional matters that apply to e-commerce applications, will be the instrument of success in positioning a business in the electronic marketplace.
Any enterprise that attracts as much traffic and value as does the electronic commerce enterprise, seldom survives in a Laissez-faire environment. This new economic reality is no different. Government intervention in this market exists on every level. From regulating the hours of a cyber-café to restrictions on access and content, to international protocol agreements; all levels of government are leaving an imprint on commercial matters in the electronic markets.
In the legal market a new classification is emerging: the “Internet Attorney”. This practice area is a crossover specialization that integrates the traditional Intellectual Property practice subjects of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law with the Litigation practice subjects of Domestic and International Business Law. This practice area incorporates all of the practical applications of doing business online. The legal and regulatory issues of the Internet Law practice area involve the migration of businesses to the electronic storefront, the protection of industrial property, transnational licensing, strategic partnering, of cross border transactions, and electronic financial services. Components of the practice also include consideration of issues of cyber-crime and privacy.
In short, the practice of law has embraced the global electronic marketplace. The Cyberlaw program concentration in management of rights and obligations and emerging legal issues in cyberspace provides a new curriculum for training the Internet Attorney.
This is a first course in Internet law. You’ll learn the essentials of computer and network technologies, and how those technologies are challenging settled legal understandings. The sources of Internet law are many, from intellectual property to tort to the First Amendment, but by the end of the course, you should be able to sort through the legal complexities in any given case to identify what’s really at stake.
Throughout the semester, we’ll tie the doctrines together with four themes: How regulation changes when it’s carried out by computers, rather than by people. Whether going online increases or decreases government control. The new kinds of power possessed by online intermediaries. The extraordinary level of innovation and creativity the Internet has unleashed.
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