July 24, 2017

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Technology Law

Technology law covers the broad area of law that spans information technology and cyberspace. Although there are dozens of legal issues that are implicated, those of most interest to consumers are:

  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy
  • Crimes

This is a new and developing area of law, so it is important to contact a Technology Law Attorney when you have an issue in this area. View qualified Technology Law Firms in your area to find Technology Lawyers to get help with this process.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is your right to benefit exclusively from the things you have created with your mind, including copyright of expression (such as a book), trademark of a logo or symbol and patent of an invention. The rise of the internet, with its lightening-fast ability to share files, has allowed an epidemic of copyright infringement. It is important to know that you can be prosecuted and sued for damages for uploading and downloading files if you have not purchased the right to do so.

Privacy

Although it is difficult to protect the privacy of your personal information online, web site providers should remove certain information if you ask, as follows:

  • Libelous, bullying or personally offensive material
  • Copyrighted material, posted without permission
  • Personal information that could subject you to harm

Crimes

The internet is like the “wild west,” and it is difficult to enforce laws in a place where people do not actually walk around. Many old crimes have proliferated on the internet, and law enforcement is struggling to keep up. In addition, entire new areas of criminal activity have emerged. Among the most common cyber-crimes are:

  • Child pornography, which was nearly impossible to obtain prior to the internet, now is readily available and difficult to prosecute. It is estimated that over the last 15 years, child pornography proliferation has increased by 1500%. Private search engines have developed software to track this activity, and, hopefully, lead to its prosecution.
  • Online fraud or internet fraud is old-fashioned deceit conducted in modern ways, including by e-mail, through websites and on chat rooms.
  • Cyber stalking occurs where an individual uses the internet to harass, smear, or threaten or to solicit minors to engage in illegal adult activity.
  • Hacking is illegally accessing another’s computer, either for fun or profit.
  • Computer viruses are programs designed to load onto your computer without your permission, and then cause damage to your computer’s content or its operation.

One great difficulty with enforcement is identifying the location of the criminal. Even if his whereabouts are known, the crime is often committed against someone who is in a different state, even a different country. The multi-jurisdictional nature of internet crime has resulted in increased cooperation among law enforcement agencies throughout the country and the world.

Related areas:

Telecommunications Law, Intellectual Property, Communications Law, Contract Law, Cyber Crime