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. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Essential Information

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 (2014) $114,970 per year
Entry-level Education Doctoral degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% growth
Similar Occupations Arbitrators; paralegals; judges; hearing officers; postsecondary teachers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Internet Law Issues

Copyright Infringement

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

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.

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