What Is Internet Law?
Internet law, or cyber law, is concerned with the legal issues that arise in the world of cyberspace. Learn about some common legal issues related to using the Internet.
Internet law is an area of law practice that explores how current laws apply to the publishing, use and storage of data and information on the Internet. Internet law may address issues related to privacy, jurisdiction, antitrust, content control, intellectual property, defamation, electronic commerce and freedom of expression. Many law schools have Internet law programs, and law firms often have specialists in this area of law.
Important Facts About Lawyers
|Median Salary (2018)||$120,910 per year (for lawyers)*|
|Entry-level Education||Doctoral degree|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||8% growth (for all lawyers)*|
|Similar Occupations||Arbitrators; paralegals; judges; hearing officers; postsecondary teachers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Common Internet Law Issues
A common example of an Internet copyright issue is using another website's images without permission. Website content and programming scripts can also be used without permission.
Service Provider Liability
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are legally liable if they know their users are performing illicit or illegal activity but do nothing to stop it. As such, they make no claims to know the goings-on of their users.
Trademark infringement issues abound on the Internet due to the ease and anonymity of users. Dubious companies can use another company's trademark for the purposes of confusion and false association with the original trademark holder's product or service. In many cases, circumstances make it hard to prove that infringement occurred.
Domain Name Disputes
Domain names are Web addresses that are typed into a browser's address bar. They are the 'entrances' to a company's website and often reflect the name or service associated with the company. With more and more companies wanting prime 'entrances' to their sites, disputes ensue over ownership of a particular domain name.
Defamation laws, which are laws designed to protect citizens from false statements that are made against them, can apply to statements made in chat rooms, blogs and other Internet sites. Internet defamation claims are often difficult to prove.